DRDO celebrated its 65 th Foundation Day on the 02 nd of January, 2023. The celebrations were held at the DRDO Headquarters under the Chairmanship of the DRDO Chairman Dr. Samir V. Kamat. The All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) which represents the DRDO Civilian Employees is already representing to the Government to strengthen the DRDO especially when the Government has decided to stop the import of various critical Defence Equipments.
www.indianpsu.com contacted C. Srikumar, the General Secretary of AIDEF to find out the views of the Federation on the statement made by the DRDO Chairman with regard to the several systems developed by DRDO and also with regard to the various ToT signed by the DRDO with different agencies.
He said “we congratulate the entire workforce of DRDO for their relentless efforts in developing various State of the Art Technology in the Defence Production field. DRDO was established due to the vision of great National Leaders like the Late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and also the late Defence Minister V.K. Krishnamenon. Even though vested interested agencies have several times criticized that despite spending huge amount of public exchequer the DRDO is not able to develop products which we are importing from abroad, the DRDO has silently played its role in achieving various mile stones in developing technologies and also products required for the Indian Armed Forces. In this regard the leadership given by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is commendable. However, the present Government is opening the doors of the Defence R&D activities, proto type developments of the State of the Art Technology needed for the Armed Forces of our county to private sector industries in a large way. It is also a matter of great concern that in the current year budget Government has taken a decision for allotting 25% of the DRDO Budget to the private sector industry which is going to affect the interest of DRDO in the coming years and which will also results in demoralization of the Scientists, Technical and other supporting staff who are involved in developments of various modern War Fare Technology. In a meeting held with the DRDO Chairman, the AIDEF has suggested that the DRDO instead of handing over the developed technologies for manufacturing of new products required for the Armed Forces to the Private Corporates should hand hold the Ordnance Factories and the Defence Public Sectors in the interest security and Defence Preparedness. Chairman DRDO assured the Federation that DRDO would continue to support the Ordnance Factories and hold their hand and he also stated that the DRDO would have to support all Companies who are involved in R&D for the development of a sustainable eco system for Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
The 27 th National Convention of AIDEF recently held in Kanpur discussed about the prevailing situation in the DRDO and the National Convention has noted with much concern that the approach of the Government, giving a go bye to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Defence to allot more than 2% of the GDP to DRDO. And the reduction of the allotment of Budget provision varied from 0.0883% to 0.0883% of GDP from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021. And a short fall of more than Rs. 17 hundred crore in budgetary allocations for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is a serious matter and needs to be reviewed. And this results into very adverse impact on the development of ongoing strategic projects of the DRDO. Therefore, the 27 th National Convention of AIDEF urged upon the Government of India to :-
a) Stop outsourcing of prototype development of R&D activities of DRDO through GOCO Model to big corporate houses and other private sectors.
b) Stop allotment of 25% of the DRDO Budget to private sector Industries.
c) Stop Transfer of Technology (ToT) of DRDO to private Industries at the cost of well tested the Government production agencies like Indian Ordnance Factories and DPSUs.
d) Provide and allot more budget to DRDO as recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.
The AIDEF is of the firm opinion that it is responsibility of the Government to strengthen and expand DRDO and in turn transfer the developed technology to the 41 Ordnance Factories and Defence PSUs for mass manufacturing of the products developed by DRDO instead of depending on the Private Industries and Corporates.
Private Sector will supply at a cost much less than the Ordnance Factories and the DPSUs till these organizations are alive. Once the Ordnance Factories and the DPSUs are made sick then these private corporates will dictate terms on the Armed Forces and ultimately the Country has to pay for the same. Therefore, the Government should have a rethinking of its policies towards DRDO, Ordnance Factories and the Defence PSUs so that the Government owned Defence Industry are strengthened, which alone will come to the rescue of the Armed Forces in any critical and emergent situation. Total dependence of Defence requirement on the private sector will be detrimental to the national security and defence preparedness, concluded C. Srikumar.