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Centre Sets up Panel to Modify the Charter of DRDO labs; Headed by Prof V Ramagopal Rao

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DRDO labs to be overhauled, expert committeeOn August 24, 2020, G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D), and Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has constituted the five-member committee under the chairmanship of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi director Valipe Ramagopal Rao to review charter of duties of 57 DRDO labs on the basis of current and futuristic defence and battlefield needs.

  • The panel also work towards the minimising the overlap of technologies they are working on at a time.
  • The panel will submit its report within 45 days.

Members of Committee:

The other members of the committee are 

  • Sandeep Singh- Indian Air Force Deputy Chief of Air Staff 
  • S Somanath- Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC),
  • Benjamin Lionel – Director, Instruments Research & Development Establishment (a Dehradun-based DRDO lab) 
  • Samir Vankatpati Kamat – Director General, Naval Systems and Materials, DRDO

The chairman of the committee may co-opt subject specialists as invitees to specific meetings.

Key Points:

Suggesting measures to provide a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India Movement) and cut dependence on imported weapons and systems,

The last major overhaul of the organisation took place after the Palle Rama Rao Committee report of 2008 that had suggested that DRDO be reorganised into 7 technology clusters based on the role they were tasked with. It also recommended the setting up of a Defence Technology Commission, a younger age profile for scientists, among others.

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