Manmohan asks defence scientists to keep abreast of modern warfare trends

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New Delhi, May 12 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today urged Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists and engineers to focus on the state of the art technologies in order to keep pace with modern trends in warfare.

Speaking on the occasion of the DRDO's Golden Jubilee year award function, Dr. Singh lauded the achievements of scientists and the staff for the dedication shown over the years and their significant role in facilitating the launch of the AGNI III missile, which has intercontinental reach.

"I understand that in the coming years, the DRDO will focus on several state of the art technologies, such as hypersonic propulsion, unmanned air land and underwater vehicles, robotics and smart materials, micro and nano technologies as well as war fighters support," Dr. Singh said.

"These will, I believe, enable us to keep pace with current trends in warfare. Especially the emergence in growth of non conventional and asymmetric warfare," he added.

Dr. Singh also emphasised on public private partnership to develop indigenous defence technologies and acknowledged the achievements of scientists and the staff of the DRDO for the dedication they have shown over the years.

After giving away awards to DRDO scientists at a function on Monday, the Prime Minister stressed on the timely delivery of technologies in the field of defence research and production so that products are available at an affordable cost.

Dr. Singh called for greater synergy between the DRDO, the Armed Forces and the defence industries, and added that India wants to live in peace and harmony with all its neighbours.

He pointed that the country is prepared to face any external challenge should there be a need for it, and said that the advances made by the DRDO have substantially enhanced our self-reliance in defence preparedness.

'The Government remains committed to the broad basing of the defence industry in our country. Our resources, our infrastructure capabilities, and our intellectual capital - in both public and private sectors - should be treated as common national assets, and be carefully nurtured and optimally utilised," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister Dr. M. Natarajan said: "The year 2007 has been the year of success of our strategic systems. The successful tests of Agni III, the special missile for Navy and the Interceptor missile heralded India's entry into the exclusively elite club of technologically advanced countries of the world."

Dr. Natarajan said that the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations have not come up to the expectations of scientists and the technical staff. He wanted the Government to think in terms of " special packages to attract, retain and reward scientific and technical skills."

He said that the DRDO with its counterpart in the Department of Atomic Energy and Space are submitting their alternate proposals in respect of certain recommendations not met by the Sixth Pay Commission.

Commenting on the delay of the DRDO projects, Dr. Natarajan said: "The DRDO is a research institution and not a factory and timely deliveries of the products are also linked to the industry."

"That's why I appeal that all three of us has to work. DRDO's products are not on the shelves, and like buyers you can choose these products from the shelves, these are products to be generated therefore I think the country has to pick up the skills to determine threshold levels of acceptance," he asserted. by Praful Kumar Singh

ANI

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