DRDO labs to be overhauled, expert committee set to review charter for futuristic battles

To be led by Prof P Ramagopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi, the select panel will delve deep into the nature of work being carried out by each lab under the organisation and will present a report to redefine the charter of work being carried out and mi...

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The last major overhaul of the organisation took place after the Rama Rao Committee report of 2008 that had suggested that DRDO be reorganised into clusters of labs based on the role they were tasked with.
NEW DELHI: The Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) is going for a deep overhaul of its laboratories and has set up an expert panel to review their charter of duties to prepare the armed forces for futuristic battlefields.

To be led by Prof P Ramagopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi, the select panel will delve deep into the nature of work being carried out by each lab under the organisation and will present a report to redefine the charter of work being carried out and minimize technology overlaps.

Interestingly, the panel also includes representation from the armed forces, with Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh as a member. Others include ISRO Director S Somnath and two representatives from within the DRDO.


The committee is to present a roadmap within 45 days with the specific directive to “redefine the charter of duties of labs on the current and futuristic battlefield scenario; minimise the overlay of technologies amongst the labs.”

The study could pave the way for a reorganisation of the organisation that has a network of 52 labs across the country engaged in a variety of projects – from nuclear missiles to development of fighters and UAVs, food products for soldiers, data analytics and laser technology.

The last major overhaul of the organisation took place after the Rama Rao Committee report of 2008 that had suggested that DRDO be reorganised into clusters of labs based on the role they were tasked with. Seven clusters were set up like missiles, armaments, aeronautical systems and life sciences.
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The Rama Rao Committee had recommended the setting up of a Defence Technology Commission, a younger age profile for scientists, more involvement of the organization in defence procurements, more foreign collaborations, a dedicated research board, restructuring of labs and a commercial arm of the research body.

It had also recommended that DRDO concentrate efforts in 8-10 critical areas suiting its existing resources and that 11 labs related to life sciences be transferred out of DRDO to other departments.
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