In the backdrop of the Media reports that many labs under the DRDO will be merged and that the employees will be subjected to hardship due to displacement, transfer etc., the Federations of DRDO Employees including AIDEF opposed the move of the Government. The Federations are already critical about the Government’s decisions to handover the new technologies developed by DRDO to the Private Sector by ignoring Ordnance Factories and DPSUs. The Federations are also worried about the new Industrial Relation Code in which the DRDO is exempted from the purview of “Industry”.
In this situation Dr.Satheesh Reddy, the Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development and Chairman DRDO, convened a meeting with the Recognised Federations of the DRDO Employees.
www.indianpsu.com contacted C.Srikumar General Secretary of AIDEF and asked him about the issues they have raised in the meeting held with the Chief of DRDO on 04/12/2020 and the response of Dr. Satheesh Reddy about the future of DRDO and its role in achieving Atmanirbhar Bharat. His statement on the meeting with the Chairman/DRDO is given below;
A delegation of AIDEF consisting of its President S.N.Pathak, C.Srikumar, General Secretary and G.T.Gopal Rao, Jt. Secretary attended the 4 hours meeting held on 04/12/2020 under the Chairmanship of the Secretary/DDR&D through Video Conference. While inaugurating the Meeting Dr. Satheesh Reddy highlighted the role played by the DRDO during lockdown period of Covid-19 particularly supply of PPE Kits, Ventilators, Mobile Testing Van, 1000 Bedded Covid Centre at New Delhi among other urgent needs required during this period. He also highlighted the achievements of DRDO for the last few years and he emphasised the need for invention of new technologies by the DRDO to meet the requirement of Armed Forces of our country with Global challenges and our Country not only required to reduce import substitution but should be in a position to export the Technology to other Countries that is the task before the DRDO he stated.
And appealed to the Federations to extend its cooperation to achieve the goals to put the DRDO on top of the map. The AIDEF representatives assured that the AIDEF will extend all possible cooperation for the success of various projects at the same time he stated that on Policy issues like Corporatisation, Privatisation, FDI and outsourcing of works the present Policy of the government is against the interest of the DRDO and the slogan of self Reliance. They requested the Secretary that a policies which are against the existence of DRDO and its employees should be opposed by him and as the Department head his views should be put forth before the Government.
The AIDEF representatives also brought to the notice of the Secretary, DRDO regarding large scale outsourcing of works particularly design and development which can be done within the DRDO Labs is not a healthy trend and it has to be stopped. They further added the reduction of some Laboratories by merging with other Laboratories whereas right from the establishment of DRDO the successive Defence Ministers stressed for the need of expansion of DRDO by strengthening further. They quoted the decisions of Late. George Fernandez, Late Pranab Mukheerji, A.K. Antony and Late Manohar Parikkar about expanding DRDO and handing over the DRDO developed Technologies to the Ordnance Factories. Unfortunately today the Govt. is going ahead with the Policy of outsourcing various works to private monopoly Industrial houses and this is not a welcome policy and goes against the self reliance and indigenous development of State of Art of Technology.
He further emphasised that the total technology of DRDO should be transferred Ordnance Factories, where such TOT Production infrastructure is available and Defence Public Sector Units but not to the Private Sector. They further stated that whether it is required to merge the Laboratories by appointing an expert Committees to decide the charter of role of the Laboratories and revamping of DRDO. If it is needed then why the same is not discussed with the Federations.
While reacting/replying to the queries made by the AIDEF Leaders and others the Secretary, DRDO Dr.Satheesh Reddy stated that he is for the workers and DRDO and Federations should take him into confidence that there is a bright future for DRDO and there will be expansion of DRDO activity by establishing new Laboratories where ever necessary and he tried to remove the
apprehensions of the Federation leaders that the merger of the Laboratories is done in the interest of DRDO as a whole for avoiding duplicate work in few Labs and to invite new Technologies so that a particular lab can concentrate on new Technology for development of State of Art of Technology needed for the Armed Forces of the Country.