Full Revamp Of DRDO-Commercial arm by year-end

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by nandu, May 13, 2010.

  1. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Finally, Govt Orders Full Revamp Of DRDO, Formally Sanctions Mark-II Versions Of MBT Arjun & Akash SAM

    [​IMG]

    More than three years after the Indian Express special series on the woeful state of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) by me and Express senior editor Amitav Ranjan, the government has finally managed to order a comprehensive restructuring plan for the beleaguered organization with immediate effect. It was our 8-part special front-page series, titled "Delayed Research Derailed Organisation" in late 2006 which set the ball rolling. For starters, it compelled the government to set up a committee in February 2007, chaired by Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Dr. P Rama Rao to review and suggest measures to improve the functioning of DRDO. After years of stiff resistance from some quarters in DRDO, the revamp plan has finally been pushed through.

    A statement from the MoD today said, "To give a major boost to Defence Research in the country and to ensure effective participation of the private sector in Defence technology, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today approved a series of measures that will transform and revitalise the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – in form and substance."

    According to the statement, the key measures include the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission with the Defence Minister as its Chairman, de-centralisation of DRDO management, making DRDO a leaner organisation by merging some DRDO laboratories with other public funded institutions with similar disciplines, interest and administrative system, engagement of an eminent Human Resource (HR) expert as consultant to revamp the entire HR structure of DRDO and establishment of a commercial arm of DRDO.

    Significantly, the decisions also include continuation of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for design and development of combat aircraft, continuation of the Kaveri aero-engine programme, development of MBT Arjun Mk-II and Akash Mk-II by DRDO and selection of industry partners by DRDO through a transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism.

    The recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee together with DRDO's views and the report were extensively deliberated upon by the three Services and the Defence Ministry. The Defence Minister Shri Antony had subsequently constituted a committee on June 25, 2009 under the Chairmanship of the Defence Secretary, to consider the responses and the suggestions made by various stakeholders on the recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee and to arrive at a set of acceptable recommendations. The committee chaired by the Defence Secretary met on five occasions and gave its recommendations to the Defence Minister.

    Decentralisation of DRDO Management

    The decentralisation of DRDO management will be achieved through formation of technology domain based centres or clusters of laboratories headed by Directors General. Seven centres will be created based on functionalities and technology domains. It will be the responsibility of the Directors General to ensure timely execution of major programmes and encouragement of research in laboratories. DRDO will also ensure full autonomy to all laboratories as far as S&T initiatives are concerned. While empowering the Directors of the laboratories, DRDO will put in a mechanism in place to ensure the accountability of the laboratory Directors.

    Leaner DRDO

    One of the major recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee was to make DRDO leaner by merging some of its laboratories with other public funded institutions have similar discipline, interests and administrative systems. Some of these ecommendations of the Committee have been accepted by the Defence Minister.

    Restructuring of DRDO

    The present Director General of DRDO will be redesignated as Chairman, DRDO. Directors General at centres and CCsR&D at Headquarters will report to Chairman, DRDO, who would be the head of the organisation. The Chairman will head the DRDO Management Council having seven Directors General and four CCsR&D at Headquarters and Additional Financial Advisor (R&D) as members. Financial Advisors at the appropriate levels would report to Directors General / Lab Directors to ensure accountability.

    Revamping of DRDO's HR Structure

    DRDO will now hire an eminent HR expert as Consultant to revamp the whole HR structure. The Consultant will be entrusted with the task to examine issues such as selection and tenure of Directors and avenues for the induction of talented persons, independently spotted by the Lab Directors and the heads of centres, including filling up of wastage vacancies.

    Commercial Arm of DRDO

    A new Commercial Arm of DRDO would be created by DRDO as a Private Limited Company with a seed capital of about Rs. 2 crores. The commercial arm would deal only with the spin-off products and technologies meant for civilian use. It will not take up any manufacturing activity. For any production activity the services of public or private sector industry will be utilised.

    http://livefist.blogspot.com/
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
    Pintu, Anshu Attri and A.V. like this.
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  3. duhastmish

    duhastmish Regular Member

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    Best news of decade for indians .

    they should have strict review committee on drdo, give them tough competition, bring them to public domain and funding should be open and aware.

    but i still doubt its - application.

    because top notch official at drdo will never allow it because it will open al l their dirty secret to public.
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Better late than never. Finally, a makeover and revamping of DRDO is being done. The execution of revamping should be done is such a manner that will make DRDO more efficient, competent and totally accountable to GoI. Also, more incentives should be provided for the young engineers/scientists to encourage joining of the DRDO and make R&D more robust. If these concerns are take care of DRDO can reckon itself as a lean and mean organization serving the defence needs of our country.
     
  5. pavanvenkatesh

    pavanvenkatesh Regular Member

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    Waow i did not see this comming 0_0 i never thought in a billian years that rama rao Committee report will actually see any light of the day but it is a pleasent surprise and a good news finally some good work by our MOD i especially liked the Commercial Arm of DRDO part very interesting to create it as a pvt ltd company

    but whether it will be done only time can tell crossing my fingers;)
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Question is will the Armrd forces still makeover their mind to buy the so-called revamped DRDO products????Isnt that the revamping of DRDO and armed forces pratnership is also required????
     
  7. Anshu Attri

    Anshu Attri Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    ................................///////bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
     
  8. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Its true
    Better be late than never. Its should have done a long back . we cannot compete with other till we streamline operation and functioning of DRDO. we should allow public sectors to compete with private. only competition will be able to bring out the best of both sectors. we cannot have protectionist attitude in this sector . its highly critical sector for countries development and laid back attitude will not help.
     
  9. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    A good initiative at last.



    Yes that has to be brought about.

    What you need is a system where with in the budgetary allocations for the armed forces has a scope for a corpus which exclusively be used for r&d purposes, and no there should be no obligation on the armed forces to just collaborate with the DPSUs with such allocations. They should have the freedom to choose their product development partners but scope of which be limited to Indian private players who be allowed to induce 49% fdi by way of a JV with any foreign defence firm which in certain cases be at max increased to 74%, and ideally such research happen in India, and for production of such a product the manufacturing happen in India.

    One needs to bring about accountability where in the armed forces put in requirements and be very clear as to what they want and such requirements be finalized at a given time period beyond which no inputs will be entertained and if they still appear confused as to what they want and keep asking for changes then such top chaps who are supposed to coordinate and who are directly responsible for the execution of such projects from the armed forces be ready to face the consequences which might lead to removal from such position immediately to demotions for incompetence shown or be shown the exit doors.

    The most important, there has to be discipline brought about with regards the completion of projects with in the specified timeline and there is no need for setting too ambitious targets. If a DPSU feels they cant deliver a AMCA kind of a project for the next 15 years or more then there is no need to commit a timeline less than that, and for the execution of a project the timeline for r&d, and production of each sub-system be defined, which be taken as deadlines on which they work and even here small-small targets be set which be reviewed on monthly basis and if it is found the team cant deliver then provisions be made such that newer and better alternatives be brought in and if these small timelines are still not followed then heads be rolled where you have a top down approach.

    There has to be serious deliberations about the funding and if the project initiated is a government funded project then clear estimates be made right from the beginning, and if it is clear that a certain amount is required for a project then those allocations be made though in here there will keep happening reviews from time to time but that in now way should mean the final funding going way over the initial estimates.

    Our bureaucracy be revamped and there needs a serious change in the attitudes which today is one of creating hurdles and of one upmanship. If these chaps are found to be creating hurdles then they be taken to task, and in all this the decision making be made absolutely prompt or it be treaded as endangering the security of the nation and such people be prosecuted.

    Lastly the MoS raksha mantri be made the chap under whom all such projects happen, and even for him accountability be brought in.

    Put every ones neck on line with fire on their ass and see how the job is done!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  10. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    so i think we are going to see project completed in stipulated time
     
  11. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Govt to set up new Defence Tech Commission

    New Delhi: Government on Thursday announced setting up of a new Defence Technology Commission to provide a major boost to research and development and decided to go for the second generation of main battle tank 'Arjun' and 'Akash' surface-to-air missile.

    The decision to set up the Commission with Defence Minister A K Antony as its chief forms part of a series of measures aimed at transforming and revitalising the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in form and substance, Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said here.

    "A new Defence Technology Commission will now be established with the Defence Minister as its Chairman and supported by a Secretariat located at DRDO Headquarters," he said, quoting Antony, who approved the recommendations of a committee under former Science and Technology Secretary P Rama Rao that was set up in February 2007 to restructure DRDO.

    After the committee had submitted its report to Antony a year later, another team headed by Defence Secretary was formed to study the report and submit recommendations for implementation.

    The government has also given its nod to development of second generation of main battle tank 'Arjun' and 'Akash' surface-to-air missile by DRDO.

    With Arjun's performance in the comparative trials with Russian T-90 tanks coming in for praise and it proving itself to be a superior tank, the decision to go in for a second generation Arjun Mk-II tanks is only an indication that the Army would be inducting more of these tanks in the future.

    Already, the Army has placed orders for 124 Arjun tanks of which about 50 tanks were finally handed over to it last year to form a regiment.

    Other key measures on which Antony took a decision include the de-centralisation of DRDO management and making it a leaner organisation by merging some of its laboratories with other public-funded institutions with similar discipline, interest and administrative system.

    The Defence Ministry would now engage an eminent Human Resource (HR) expert as consultant to revamp the entire HR structure of DRDO and establishment of a commercial arm of the Organisation.

    Antony also decided to continue with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for design and development of combat aircraft, a continuation of the Kaveri aero-engine programme.

    To increase private participation in DRDO activities, it has also been decided to select industry partners through a transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism.

    Source
     
  12. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Long waited & Good move indeed. It'll bring any progress if only implemented timely & without sideling any objective.

    The key actions to be looked for are -
    • De-centralisation of DRDO.
    • Establishment of a commercial arm of the Organisation.
    • Bringing in the Human Resource (HR) Consultant.


    I think this points AMCA. We should hear MOD approval for AMCA in next 6 months.
     
  13. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

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    Atlast a light of hope in black sky.
    now, we may hope for quality, quantity, and timely finish for our defence need.
    ;-).
     
  14. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    Is DRDO's makeover just cosmetic?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Is-DRDOs-makeover-just-cosmetic/articleshow/5927388.cms

    NEW DELHI: It needed drastic surgery but only first-aid has been rendered. Or, so it seems from the government's half-hearted steps to revamp Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), whose projects continue to be plagued by huge time and cost overruns.

    Defence minister A K Antony on Thursday approved a series of measures which — it was grandiosely proclaimed — will "transform and revitalize" DRDO in both "form and substance". The measures range from creation of a Defence Technology Commission (DTC) headed by Antony and de-centralization of DRDO's management to hiving off some of its labs and setting up a commercial arm with seed capital of Rs 2 crore.

    The other steps include development of Mark-II versions of the long-delayed Arjun main-battle tanks and Akash surface-to-air missile systems as well as consultation by an "eminent human resource expert" to restructure DRDO and selection of industry partners by evolving "a suitable mechanism".

    But there is scepticism whether all this will actually transform DRDO into a lean and mean organisation capable of delivering cutting-edge weapon systems to the armed forces.

    For one, MoD will decentralise DRDO management through creation of seven "technology domain based centres" or clusters of labs — missile systems, aeronautics, armament & combat engineering, electronics & communication, material sciences, naval systems and life sciences.

    But there are fears all this will make DRDO even more bureaucratic and top-heavy, especially since each such cluster will be headed by a director-general and his associated paraphernalia.
    DRDO, with its 51 labs, currently has one director-general at the helm. After being redesignated as chairman, he will head the DRDO management council consisting of seven DGs, four chief controllers (R&D) and an additional financial advisor at the HQ.

    For another, MoD has decided to hive off only three of its 51 labs, two to CSIR and one to ICAR, instead of the dozen or so recommended by the Rama Rao Committee report.The Rama Rao report had stressed DRDO should concentrate only on 8 to 10 'critical technologies' of 'strategic importance' instead of also venturing into making juices, mosquito repellents, titanium dental implants and the like.

    The creation of DTC is being done to allow DRDO to have a greater say in defence procurements from abroad. Armed forces, however, already feel DRDO often derails armament deals by pledging to develop the systems concerned but does not make good its promises. Defence scientists, on their part, contend the services are often against indigenisation, with foreign arms lobbies always ready to play ball in deriding DRDO.

    There is, of course, no getting away from the fact that India needs to develop a robust industrial-military infrastructure, importing as it still does around 70% of its military hardware and software. Incidentally, India has inked defence deals worth a staggering $50 billion since the 1999 Kargil conflict, the overwhelming majority of them with foreign armament firms
     
  15. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    I am of the belief that if the existing human resource is not absolutely pathetic and beyond repair, and comprises of average to bright talent then what needs to be brought about is an attitudinal change, and that is something I am not seeing happening in the report presented, still one can not see a clear cut accountability standards set, and what if a deadline is not met, secondly there is no mention of target oriented approach, and this is the key where the private sector scores, and till the time these two basics cant be addressed to I suspect any change is a real change. All these people involved are not being pushed out of their comfort zones, and structural changes rarely help that happening.

    Though the two things good coming out are confirmed future prospects for arjun mk-II and akash mk-II, which shows a certain level of maturity being attained in these two products and also a certain level of confidence being shown by the armed forces in pursuance of these two platforms.
     
  16. gogbot

    gogbot Regular Member

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    Another link:
    the official press release.
    http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=61808

    [​IMG]

    MoD Announces Major DRDO Restructuring Plan

    14:54 IST

    To give a major boost to Defence Research in the country and to ensure effective participation of the private sector in Defence technology, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today approved a series of measures that will transform and revitalise the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – in form and substance.

    The key measures include the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission with the Defence Minister as its Chairman, de-centralisation of DRDO management, making DRDO a leaner organisation by merging some of the DRDO laboratories with other public funded institutions with similar discipline, interest and administrative system, engagement of an eminent Human Resource (HR) expert as consultant to revamp the entire HR structure of DRDO and establishment of a commercial arm of DRDO. The decisions also include continuation of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for design and development of combat aircraft, continuation of the Kaveri aero-engine programme, development of MBT Arjun Mk-II and Akash Mk-II by DRDO and selection of industry partners by DRDO through a transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism.

    It may be recalled that the Government had set up a committee on February 08, 2007, chaired by Former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Dr. P Rama Rao to review and suggest measures to improve the functioning of DRDO. The committee was mandated through its terms of reference to review the present organisational structure and to recommend necessary changes in the institutional, managerial, administrative and financial structures for improving the functioning of DRDO. The Committee, after year – long deliberations, submitted its report to the Government on February 07, 2008.

    The recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee together with DRDO's views and the report were extensively deliberated upon by the three Services and the Defence Ministry. The Defence Minister Shri Antony had subsequently constituted a committee on June 25, 2009 under the Chairmanship of the Defence Secretary, to consider the responses and the suggestions made by various stakeholders on the recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee and to arrive at a set of acceptable recommendations. The committee chaired by the Defence Secretary met on five occasions and gave its recommendations to the Defence Minister.

    Defence Technology Commission

    A new Defence Technology Commission will now be established with the Defence Minister as its Chairman and supported by a Secretariat located at DRDO Headquarters.

    Decentralisation of DRDO Management

    The decentralisation of DRDO management will be achieved through formation of technology domain based centres or clusters of laboratories headed by Directors General. Seven centres will be created based on functionalities and technology domains. It will be the responsibility of the Directors General to ensure timely execution of major programmes and encouragement of research in laboratories. DRDO will also ensure full autonomy to all laboratories as far as S&T initiatives are concerned. While empowering the Directors of the laboratories, DRDO will put in a mechanism in place to ensure the accountability of the laboratory Directors.

    Leaner DRDO

    One of the major recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee was to make DRDO leaner by merging some of its laboratories with other public funded institutions have similar discipline, interests and administrative systems. Some of these recommendations of the Committee have been accepted by the Defence Minister.

    Restructuring of DRDO

    The present Director General of DRDO will be redesignated as Chairman, DRDO. Directors General at centres and CCsR&D at Headquarters will report to Chairman, DRDO, who would be the head of the organisation. The Chairman will head the DRDO Management Council having seven Directors General and four CCsR&D at Headquarters and Additional Financial Advisor (R&D) as members. Financial Advisors at the appropriate levels would report to Directors General / Lab Directors to ensure accountability.

    Revamping of DRDO's HR Structure

    DRDO will now hire an eminent HR expert as Consultant to revamp the whole HR structure. The Consultant will be entrusted with the task to examine issues such as selection and tenure of Directors and avenues for the induction of talented persons, independently spotted by the Lab Directors and the heads of centres, including filling up of wastage vacancies.

    It has also been decided that the budget for rejuvenating Research may reach 5 percent of DRDO budget in a period of three years.

    Commercial Arm of DRDO

    A new Commercial Arm of DRDO would be created by DRDO as a Private Limited Company with a seed capital of about Rs. 2 crores. The commercial arm would deal only with the spin-off products and technologies meant for civilian use. It will not take up any manufacturing activity. For any production activity the services of public or private sector industry will be utilised.

    It has also been decided that ADA will continue to perform its role of design and development of aircraft and DRDO to continue with the Kaveri Aero-Engine Programme. DRDO will also take up the development of MBT Arjun Mk-II and Mk-II version of Akash. DRDO will also select industry partners through a transparent process by evolving a suitable mechanism.

    Sitanshu Kar / RAJ
     
  17. gogbot

    gogbot Regular Member

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    Even the ever critical , cynical and sensational Times of India , struggles to find faults in this move, this is a very good sign

    Is DRDO's makeover just cosmetic ?

    NEW DELHI: It needed drastic surgery but only first-aid has been rendered. Or, so it seems from the government's half-hearted steps to revamp Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), whose projects continue to be plagued by huge time and cost overruns.

    Defence minister A K Antony on Thursday approved a series of measures which — it was grandiosely proclaimed — will "transform and revitalize" DRDO in both "form and substance". The measures range from creation of a Defence Technology Commission (DTC) headed by Antony and de-centralization of DRDO's management to hiving off some of its labs and setting up a commercial arm with seed capital of Rs 2 crore.

    The other steps include development of Mark-II versions of the long-delayed Arjun main-battle tanks and Akash surface-to-air missile systems as well as consultation by an "eminent human resource expert" to restructure DRDO and selection of industry partners by evolving "a suitable mechanism".

    But there is scepticism whether all this will actually transform DRDO into a lean and mean organisation capable of delivering cutting-edge weapon systems to the armed forces.

    For one, MoD will decentralise DRDO management through creation of seven "technology domain based centres" or clusters of labs — missile systems, aeronautics, armament & combat engineering, electronics & communication, material sciences, naval systems and life sciences.

    But there are fears all this will make DRDO even more bureaucratic and top-heavy, especially since each such cluster will be headed by a director-general and his associated paraphernalia.
    DRDO, with its 51 labs, currently has one director-general at the helm. After being redesignated as chairman, he will head the DRDO management council consisting of seven DGs, four chief controllers (R&D) and an additional financial advisor at the HQ.

    For another, MoD has decided to hive off only three of its 51 labs, two to CSIR and one to ICAR, instead of the dozen or so recommended by the Rama Rao Committee report.The Rama Rao report had stressed DRDO should concentrate only on 8 to 10 'critical technologies' of 'strategic importance' instead of also venturing into making juices, mosquito repellents, titanium dental implants and the like.

    The creation of DTC is being done to allow DRDO to have a greater say in defence procurements from abroad. Armed forces, however, already feel DRDO often derails armament deals by pledging to develop the systems concerned but does not make good its promises. Defence scientists, on their part, contend the services are often against indigenisation, with foreign arms lobbies always ready to play ball in deriding DRDO.

    There is, of course, no getting away from the fact that India needs to develop a robust industrial-military infrastructure, importing as it still does around 70% of its military hardware and software. Incidentally, India has inked defence deals worth a staggering $50 billion since the 1999 Kargil conflict, the overwhelming majority of them with foreign armament firms.
     
  18. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indian Defence Sector : DRDO Needs Makeover

    [​IMG]

    In “India’s Defense Market: Obstacles to Modernization” we looked at the various organizational pathologies that were creating repeated failures for Indian defense procurement efforts, to the point that billions of dollars were being appropriated and not spent. We have also followed projects like India’s Kaveri jet engine, its missile programs, the Arjun tank, et. al., which have consumed a great deal of time (over 20 years in many cases) and many crores of rupees without fielding operational weapons systems.

    The changes required are wide-ranging and complex – but in a democracy, these things eventually come home to roost and reform efforts begin. There have been a few signals lately that these changes may begin at last. Where are they going? Will they succeed?

    With China taking significant steps to improve its defense industry, while funding that industry at levels far higher than a democracy like India can, something clearly has to be done. Opening India up to foreign defense manufacturers, which has been the de facto result of many of DRDO’s project failures, can be an effective solution – vid. the PJ-10 BrahMos missile – but it is not a panacea.

    Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister Shri M. Natarajan’s concerns re: the “triple trap” of relying on foreign defense procurement are well stated:

    1. What is developed abroad may not suit local requirements
    2. What is suitable may be denied
    3. What is not denied could be unaffordable


    Which means India’s defense industry must retain some local capabilities, and work to increase them. To that end, he is correct to note that business as usual won’t suffice.

    In 2006, India Defence reported that the Government was looking at “substantial changes” in the existing model of developing advanced defense products. At present, India’s DRDO has to do a lot of the sub-component development work that would be done by Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in America or France. Unsurprisingly, Defence & Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief M. Natarajan said recently that they have:

    ”...proposed greater involvement of stakeholders by sharing project expenditure and management. DRDO is not a manufacturer. Its primary job is to create capacity. The industry is also realising that this would be possible if there is some mechanism of assured minimum quantity and there is some partnership with foreign entities.”

    [​IMG]

    The Indian MoD release is more specific. Natarajan suggested a pattern of funding with DRDO contributing 70%, Industry 20%, and the user Services (Army, Navy, Air Force etc.) 10% for better stakeholding in long term projects.

    That may not be the right ratio, or even the most important step, but note the direction of his thinking.

    Which brings us to other recent statements from various officials at the International Seminar On Defence Finance & Economics.

    On the one hand, External Affairs Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee has called for greater synergies between public spending and private enterprises with regard to defense production. What he appears to mean by this is the traditional pursuit of industrial offsets as part of defense contracts, plus expanded auditing.

    At the same conference, Sir Kevin Tebbit of U.K. presented Britain’s work in the area of ‘Smart Acquisition’ to manage time, cost and performance, while Dr. Elisabeth Wright of the U.S.A. made an presentation on Life Cycle Management of defense acquisition costs.

    All are well and good. None of them appear to address the root issues.

    Techniques like life-cycle management, outcome budgeting and accrual accounting may offer limited help in specific areas, and could become part of a drive to greater accountability for results if used properly. On the other hand, the kind of “oversight” much beloved of politicians can contribute to waste and delays as easily as it prevents them. The core question is, “what is the real problem?”

    [​IMG]

    Unless that question is answered correctly, such measures as are proposed above can easily become a substitute for real diagnosis, and the opposite of help. Further damage is especially likely if one’s biggest problem is a cultivated environment in which people won’t take risks and paperwork is seen as more important than production, all in a heavily state-owned and run sector. In that environment, even Natarajan’s proposal to shift some project funding away from the state can be seen as a simple offloading of risk and expense onto other entites, while maintaining a controlling share.

    On the other hand, there are currents afoot that could leverage the ideas of synergies with the private sector and a move away from the state as a manufacturer, using industrial offsets to help expand India’s private defense industry, all done in conjunction with expanded use of modern management tools. For instance:

    “Addressing the seminar the Union Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram said that Defence PSUs needs to improve their comptitiveness by reducing costs and enhancing productivity. He said, “The argument that the Government in all circumstances must support loss making undertakings or inefficient ordnance factories because of their strategic importance or surge capacities is difficult to sustain in an increasingly globalised world with many more efficient alternatives. Efficiency, productivity and true competitiveness have to be the underpinning of a strong and vibrant Defence Industrial Base.”

    Shri Chidambaram said that optimal allocation and utilisation of resources is the challenge before Defence Finance & Economics. Referring to the many positive aspects of India’s economic growth in the last few years, he stated that policy changes are already in place to allow private sector participation in the Defence sector with up to 100% equity ownership. Shri Chidambaram said the partnership has to be further strengthened and taken to higher levels with greater outsourcing by Defence PSUs, Ordnance Factories, R&D Labs etc. The Minister said Defence Accounts Department must constantly review their systems and procedures for faster service delivery. Shri Chidambaram was of the opinion that Cash Management Systems, Management Information Systems, Migration to International Accounting Standards are some of the important aspects in this context.”

    India’s software development community, which boasts more Level 5 CMMI firms than anywhere else in the world, shows that Indian firms are well acquainted with the demands of quality, development of new technologies, and performance to specifications. As this very pro-DRDO but well-referenced entry on Wikipedia documents, the DRDO has also shown the ability to succeed with a number of its own projects. Even within that sample set, however, note the patterns in DRDO’s bigger successes like the Pinaka MLRS and BFSR-SR short range 3D battlefield surveillance radar – and also the pattern of failures like the 125mm FSAPDS tank ammunition.

    However, large segments of India’s arms industry are government-owned. Given the number of jobs (read: votes) dependent on these enterprises, the political reality is that closing these firms or even substantially reducing their workload is extremely difficult. The result is an environment of non-accountability.

    One that won’t be fixed by changing the accounting methods.

    There are many other reforms that will be necessary in order to create a defense industry and capability level that matches India’s ambitions – but if the core issues revolve around culture and performance, greater involvement by the growing private sector in India’s state-run defence industry and projects is a fine place to start. Most of the other items discussed, from greater use of modern management tools, to increased focus on performance, to a growing private sector capable of partnering effectively with foreign firms and producing key sub-components, can then begin to improve of their own accord.

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    Will India succeed? it is impossible to know. One may begin to say, however, that they are headed in the right direction at last.
    You might also like:

    http://weapons.technology.youngester.com/2010/05/indian-defence-sector-drdo-needs.html
     
  19. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    DRDO Revamp Draws Mixed Reactions

    The overhaul of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has evoked mixed reactions from the defense and aerospace community. AVIATION WEEK spoke to a number of current and retired senior DRDO officials after the May 13 announcement, and the verdict seems to be split, at least for now.

    A majority hailed India Defense Minister AK Antony for finally charting a course correction for DRDO, which has often been criticized for its escalating costs and inability to deliver on time.

    “Time and again, DRDO has tested the patience of the armed forces by promising to deliver more than what they were capable of,” a senior Indian Air Force official attached to Air Headquarters said. “Post Kargil, India’s defense strategies have changed drastically, impacting our defense requirements. We are keen to have results and not reasons. It’s too early to comment whether the system correction to DRDO would change anything at all. Maybe it’s worth the wait.”

    Another senior official, a widely known DRDO think tank member who is affiliated with India’s missile programs, tells AVIATION WEEK that DRDO’s face-lift was expected.

    “We knew these changes were coming and our views were also taken at various levels. As you [media] people report, it’s not a bolt from the blue,” the official said. “Our system doesn’t permit us to speak on services, as they are our valued customers. We need to change with the times, and the revamp is in that direction. Nothing has happened to the morale of [the] DRDO fraternity with these changes.”

    The creation of a Defense Technology Commission (DTC), headed by Antony, is seen as the most crucial and significant step forward in DRDO’s new direction.

    “This will help technological advancements. DTC will enable new projects [to] achieve faster and better growth. The changes would make the DRDO stronger, and indigenous efforts would further get a boost,” said Kota Harinarayana, a scientist and former program director for India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Kota contributed to the Rama Rao Committee report, which suggested sweeping changes to DRDO.

    Though there is apprehension that the formation of new clusters headed by director-generals will make the organization more top-heavy, the move is seen by many others as a welcome step that would provide much-needed autonomy.

    “After 50 years, it was time to ring in some changes. These reforms are in tune with modern times and it will make DRDO more vibrant,” Sitanshu Kar, a Ministry of Defense spokesperson, told AVIATION WEEK. “Results might not come overnight, but then it would create systematic changes that would benefit Indian defense R&D in a big way.”

    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gene...ml&headline=DRDO Revamp Draws Mixed Reactions
     
  20. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    MoD's DRDO re-structuring plan should only be a first step

    16 May 2010 PIB: The MoD has issued two press releases in the last fortnight on re-structuring DRDO. This is a great step but many feel too shallow to make a significant change as it leaves the following issues unaddressed.

    Unhealthy relations with the Armed Forces

    Unhealthy suspicion/relations between the DRDO and the armed forces. The DRDO accuses the armed forces of being too easily swayed by foreign lobbies and prone to corruption. The Armed Forces on the other hand believe that DRDO intervenes to stop procurement by saying that it can produce indigenously but rarely comes through and when it does the techonology is already outdated, way over time and way over budget.

    Unable to give up power

    By giving up only 3 laboratories out of 51, DRDO's politics has once again won against national interest. The P.T. Rama Rao committee had recommended that DRDO focus only on 8 to 10 critical technologies. By giving up research laboratories, DRDO would receive less funding and its power structure would be diluted

    People Problem

    The hiring of an external HR consultant is a great step. However, it is expected that the hiring process would be highly politicised, the person would not be empowered enough to make the changes and would be unable to tackle internal politics.

    At 1:5, DRDO suffers from one of the worst ratios of scientists to support staff. Pragmatic's note on comparing DRDO to US's DARPA states that DARPA's ratio is 1.4:1. So out of 60 staff, DRDO would have 10 scientists and 50 support staff whereas DARPA would have 35 scientists and 25 support staff. At an IDSA seminar last year, the dismal HR figures were similar compared to Japan's research organisation. Denying that this drain on resources to support staff is a reason for DRDO's failure, proponents say that DRDO always had miniscule budgets. However it should be remembered that most of DRDO's projects are to copy existing technologies whereas DARPA produces futuristic technologies with past successes like inventing the internet.

    Finally, the flow of the best scientists to the private sector has only be hampered by the current economic conditions. One the economy picks up, DRDO's ability to attract and retain scientists will be threatened.

    While the decentralisation of management is a welcome move, Economic Times "Is the DRDO restructure purely cosmetic" believes that this will only lead to more bureaucracy.

    Mindset - Public Sector biased

    The defence ministry has increasingly become pro-public sector, even in extreme cases where a private sector company has developed over decades critical technologies but were then directed to hand over the projects and be sub-servient to defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) who had no understanding of the projects. Since defence secretaries are often promoted after first being Joint Secretaries (JS), they carry with them the pro-DPSU mindset. The reason is that while serving as JS they also, in pure conflict of interest, serve on the board of DPSUs who will go out of their way to pamper the JSs.

    Part 2 of the Kelkar committee report which was never made public had recommended the privatisation of the DRDO, along the lines of the Britian's successful experience with Qinteiq. With the above mindset, privatisation is a distant dream but even a more fruitful involvement of a very capable private sector is unlikely.

    http://www.8ak.in/
     
  21. pavanvenkatesh

    pavanvenkatesh Regular Member

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    The bottom line is DRDO should get out of its cozy bubble and realize that they have to deliver in order to survive they cannot simply continue without accountability they should deliver or else the same govt and the same MOD ministers who supports them will look elsewhere to satisfy its defense needs and nobody can help them then they may have to face compitetion from pvt industries which could be disasterous for some of its labs which may end up like ITI, Mysore lamps, and other DPSU's which are struggling as they could not face competation from pvt sector
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2010

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