DRDO seeks enhanced budget, says China spending more on R&D

NEW DELHI, Sept 23:  DRDO, the premier defence research organisation, today sought enhanced budget saying that China was spending close to 20 per cent of its defence outlay on R&D as compared to a mere 5-6 per cent in India.
It also pitched for increased manpower saying that a top heavy institution with a narrow base is not an ideal situation.
Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) S Christopher said there were a few issues which continued to remain a cause of concern and came in the way of the organization’s growth.
“There is a need for enhanced budget and augmentation of scientific manpower. A mere 5-6 per cent of defence budget for R&D is inadequate to meet the aspirations of India’s defence needs especially when China spends about 20 per cent of their defence budget for R&D,” he said inaugurating the 39th Directors’ Conference of DRDO here.
He said the manpower has remained stagnant since 2001.
“This is an issue which DRDO has been pursuing for a long time and currently a case for 436 scientists is with the government for approval,” he said, adding that any research and development institution depends on new blood to work on technological needs of tomorrow.
“Today the average age of scientist in DRDO is over 40 years. A top heavy and narrow base is not a healthy structure for R&D organisations. We hope the government will appreciate the gravity of the situation and take appropriate measures to ensure manpower,” he said.
On his part, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar assured DRDO of all help but said the scientist need to constantly upgrade themselves and duplication of work should be avoided.
He also asked the DRDO scientists to “learn” from ‘rishis’, who overcame jealousy and anger since “many tussles and politics” had been seen in the scientists’ community.
He said they should “roll up their sleeves” and put in more effort.
Addressing the gathering, the minister said education does not have any value if it does not come with integrity.
“For an educated person, to have humility is one of the most important virtues. I think the scientist community should choose to make it part of their overall behaviour and set up. This one apsect…I see many tussles. Politics is everywhere but it is also being sometimes played in a wrong sense. I understand you have high aspirations,” he said. (PTI)


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