DRDO turns to pvt players to kickstart tired projects - Pune Mirror Giving an impetus to the Made in India initiative, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which has been under fire for delays and cost overruns in key military programmes, is partnering with private players to invest more into research and development. The agency has been re-energising itself, with new projects and restructuring, after the exit of its chief Avinash Chander last week, a good 16 months before his tenure was to end. This week, the Armament Group of Laboratories of DRDO had organised a two-day workshop on the theme 'Manufacture of defence equipment â€” challenges and prospects of industries in changing environment' attended by over 200 delegates, including 40 private industries, who discussed issues related to partnership in research in order to complete defence projects within the deadlines. Stating that discussions were held on working jointly in the changing environment of indigenous manufacturing and public-private partnership, a DRDO official told Mirror, "The main objective was to discuss industries' viewpoint on collaborative working as development partners, and deliberate on what might hinder integrated work." Ravi Kumar Gupta, scientist and director of the directorate of public interface, DRDO, Delhi, said, "We want private players in manufacturing defence equipment for the Indian armed forces. Companies can play a vital role to complete certain projects in time." Earlier, DRDO roped in private players such as Tata, Larsen and Toubro and Bharat Forge to develop its Advance Towed Artillery Guns System, a light-weight long-range automated gun, which will be ready for production by 2019. Baba Kalyani, chairman of Bharat Forge Ltd, who was chief guest at the workshop, presented the expectations from the industry, stating that the procedures for government procurement should be simplified so that the time taken for development is minimised. Some DRDO projects that have been delayed include Naval Light Combat Aircraft and Aero Engine Kaveri, Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft among others. Stating the workshop was "fruitful", director of Armament Research and Development Establishment Dr KM Rajan said, "The various issues we discussed will be submitted to DRDO headquarters in Delhi. A report will be sent to the ministry of defence (MoD)." The MoD will modify defence procurement policy in the near future, said SV Kannan, director of Solar Industries India limited, based in Nagpur. "Our company has already started manufacturing rocket and missile propellants and warheads," he said.