A Defence Minister headed panel with the power to decide on the future direction of military technology research in the country, which had been in the works for over three years, could soon become a reality.
To be called the Defence Technology Commission (DTC), the panel will be vested with the powers to issue orders to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to make available technologies for military use within time-frames and costs, and to fix the responsibility if such decisions were not complied with. The DTC is expected to be a game changer for defence research as well as development and could energise the sector in more ways than one.
“We are putting up the proposal now (to the Cabinet) and it is at various stages of being processed. It went through one round in the Union Ministry of Defence and came back to us with some suggestions. We have implemented the suggestions and are looking into the auditors’ views. Once we are done with that, the proposal moves to the Union Ministry of Finance(MoF),” DRDO Director General Avinash Chander told Express.
After the vetting by the MoF, the note on DTC would go to the Union Cabinet, particularly the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the Prime Minister, for the final approval.
However, Chander refused to set a deadline for putting the DTC in place. “I don’t know how long it will take. But we are going through the steps. We are confident that everybody has recognised the need for it,” he said.
“We are very keen and we feel that the DTC is very essential if we want to have a coherent, synergistic decision-making (on defence technologies),” said the top defence scientist, who has worked on the Agni series of missiles.
However, he sought to clear the misconception that the DTC would be modelled on the lines of the Atomic Energy Commission and takes most of its decisions for internal implementation as it is “the owner, assessor and end user”.
“The DTC will be for the three-armed forces and their requirements. Whatever the DRDO does, it has to be strategised and must have a synergy with the end user,” said Chander.