PSUs run like netas' fiefs: Rakesh Sharma Nov 28, 2011 AHMEDABAD: Improper and unrealistic planning for execution of defense PSUs lead to MIG aircraft crashing in the country. Public sector undertakings (PSUs) like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the country are being run like political and bureaucratic fiefdom. These strong views were expressed by the first Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma. Sharma was giving a speech at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on Sunday. To make the PSUs function better, Sharma said that the public private partnership (PPP) model with the Indian companies should be adopted in these sectors. "The PSUs have the infrastructure but they do not have the expertise," said Sharma. Talking about his past experiences of working as a test pilot with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the retired pilot said that when he detected snags in parts of the fighter planes, he used to send them back to the laboratories. Sharma, however, found out that the laboratories, instead of doing research and development on these parts, used to fix these parts in another fighter plane. "The parts used to keep repeating the full circle consuming time and energy without any result." Sharma said that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in the functioning of these PSUs and the officers are not held responsible for poor results. He said that micro management of the PSUs through constant interventions from bureaucrats and political leaders have hampered their efficiencies. He said, "The bureaucrats do not understand the process of manufacturing and the politicians understand even less than the bureaucrats." Giving an example of lack of planning and vision in the PSUs, he said that the HAL does not even have an in-house test-pilot team. When asked about ISRO, Sharma said that ISRO functions directly under the prime minister and as the prime minister is busy in other affairs, there is not much interference. "They have much autonomy and that is why they are better than the other PSUs," said Sharma. Sharma said that the country should make efforts to send more people from the country into space and involve in space exploration. "It is an expensive proposition and should be done through collaboration with other countries," he added.