Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) celebrated 64th DRDO Day on January 01, 2022. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy addressed the DRDO fraternity in New Delhi on January 03, 2022. The DRDO is working on multiple cutting-edge military technology areas, which include aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advanced computing, simulation, cyber, hypersonic technologies, quantum computing and communication, artificial intelligence, life sciences and other technologies for defence.
Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO along with Director Generals and other Directors of DRDO Headquarters paid floral tributes at the bust of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Addressing the gathering, the DRDO chairman extended warm wishes to DRDO employees and their families. He said, DRDO has accomplished many successes through relentless zeal, perseverance and dedication of project teams, able leadership of project DGs, directors and lab directors. He acknowledged the support of all stakeholders like financial advisors, corporate teams, industry partners & government stakeholders in achieving the goals.
Secretary DDR&D brought out that 175 transfer of technology (ToT) licences were signed during 2021 and the production value of DRDO developed systems till today is over Rs 3 Lakh crore. He said that DRDO is ensuring the participation of industry as Development cum Production Partners (DcPP) and Production Agencies (PA) in the projects. DRDO test facilities have been opened up for industries and guidelines for GOCO (Government Owned and Company Operated) have been promulgated.
Dr G Satheesh Reddy also brought out that in 2021, DRDO achieved many milestones such as maiden flight of Akash-New Generation Surface To Air Missile (NG SAM), new generation surface-to-surface missile Pralay, indigenous air frames for BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Vertical Launch Short Range SAM, Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) missile, supersonic missile assisted release of torpedo and many other systems. Its technology prowess is evident through multiple export opportunities emerging for systems like Akash Missile System, Brahmos, Weapon Locating Radar, Torpedoes, Sonars, etc.
Societal contribution of DRDO technologies during second wave of Covid were also highlighted. Nine hundred and thirty-one medical oxygen plants were installed at 869 sites across the country. Thirteen Covid hospitals with more than 7,400 beds were set up. All these were set up across the country with various central government departments & state government participation with DRDO. Anti-Covid drug in the form of therapeutic application of 2-deoxy-D-glucone (2DG) has been a crucial breakthrough during the pandemic.
While congratulating DRDO scientists and all other personnel who worked in close coordination with the Armed Forces for user trials, Secretary DDR&D set many targets for them. He stated that scientists need to accelerate development of state-of-the-art systems and technologies for realising the goals of ‘Make in India and Make for the World’ set by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Dr G Satheesh Reddy emphasised the significant role being played by DRDO in promoting defence ecosphere within country comprising of industries, academic institutes and allied R&D organisations to work together on advanced and futuristic technologies to make India self-reliant in defence sector.
The efforts being made by DRDO to integrate youth with Defence R&D towards aligning young talent pool by promoting research aptitude in young students in niche complex defence technology was also highlighted. He said that this goal was achieved by Launching Dare to Dream contest, Regular MTech Programme in Defence Technologies in about 40 Universities through AICTE, introducing elective subjects in Defence Technologies for BTech courses, DRDO-MoE collaborative programme for PhD students and MoU with universities to focus on joint research activities, faculty and student exchange programme etc. DRDO through its TDF scheme has assigned 40 projects to nascent industries and MSME’s. Many more in projects are in pipeline.
Four internal automation portals and two documents along with a monograph on Systems Engineering for self-reliance to mark the DRDO Day event were launched. Entire DRDO fraternity from across the country participated online through internal network in DRDO Day celebrations.
The DRDO was formed in 1958 from the amalgamation of the then already functioning Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO). DRDO was then a small organisation with 10 establishments or laboratories. Over the years, it has grown multi-directionally in terms of the variety of subject disciplines, number of laboratories, achievements and stature.