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PM calls upon DRDO to upgrade technological capabilities

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 14 : The country must acquire relevant knowledge and skills, develop innovative capabilities and raise industrial capabilities to create products and systems to meet challenges of the future, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.

''As a nation with great stakes in evolution of a stable and rule-based international system, our security establishment needs to constantly renew its threat assessments and prepare dynamic responses to potential dangers that lie before us,'' he said.

''I trust the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will motivate our industries to remain at the cutting edge of technology,'' said Dr Singh while inaugurating a new building in Lutyens Delhi that will accommodate its headquarters.

For the country's security, he added, a superstructure comprising adequate military hardware, communication systems and trained people must be built upon a self-reliant industrial complex.

This in turn is dependent on capabilities that are created through absorption of technology, development of capacity and creation of enabling environment for creativity and innovation to flourish.

''For this, it is essential for the DRDO to take forward its plans, currently at a nascent stage, to leverage partnerships with foreign partners and domestic private sector in development of high technology.'' All of these efforts will have beneficial results for the DRDO, the armed forces and even society as a whole through technological spinoffs and applications, he said.

Dr Singh said the government must devise ways of making the working environment in cutting edge departments more attractive. He added that the government is also willing to consider facilitating mobility between such institutions and academia, as well as from research institutions to production and marketing sectors.

However, the prime minister expressed concern over problems of cost and time overruns in defence projects. ''It is incumbent on each and every one of us to strive to eliminate wasteful delays and unduly lengthy procedures. Let us therefore resolve to achieve our goals quickly, efficiently and economically.'' Dr Singh noted that the DRDO plans to create a new range of products and technologies in 11th and 12th plan periods, including cutting edge technology in propulsion systems, camouflage and stealth technologies, sensors and micro-electromechanical systems as well as precision-guided munitions, robotics and unmanned vehicle technologies.

He paid glowing tributes to DRDO scientists for their many achievements in the past few decades by adding that they were achieved in a period of technology apartheid regime which restricted flow of highly sensitive, dual use technology to India.

Dr Singh also gave away DRDO scientists of the year 2005 awards on the occasion. Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, his scientific advisor S. Natarajan and senior members of the armed forces were also present on the occasion.


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