Published 23:35 IST, May 22nd 2024

Government Prioritizes DRDO Reforms in Post-Election 100-Day Agenda

The Indian government has prioritized comprehensive reforms for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in its 100-day agenda amid elections.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
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Representational | Image: Republic

New Delhi: In a bid to expand the country’s defence technology base, the government has included comprehensive reforms for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in its 100-day agenda following the recent elections. This initiative reflects the administration’s commitment to bolstering India’s defence capabilities through technological advancements and structural improvements within the DRDO. 

To spearhead the reform process, the government established a committee comprising retired military officers and industry experts, led by a prominent scientist. This committee was tasked with evaluating the existing structure of the DRDO and recommending reforms aimed at making the organisation more output-oriented while fostering a robust defence industrial and technological base in India. 


DRDO’s Presentations and Internal Efforts 

Under the leadership of Dr. Samir V. Kamat, the DRDO has actively engaged with senior government officials, presenting a series of proposals based on the committee’s recommendations. According to top defence officials, these presentations have been well-received, and the reforms are now a priority within the government's initial 100-day agenda. 

The DRDO has also established an internal committee to advance the reforms in areas where consensus has been reached between the reforms committee and the DRDO. Points of contention will be addressed through further discussions. 


A significant aspect of the reforms is the emphasis on core military technology areas. The DRDO plans to transfer laboratories focusing on non-core areas, such as the Defence Institute for High Altitude Research (DIHAR), to state governments. This move aims to ensure that these labs continue their valuable work while contributing to local development. 

Proposed Defence Technology Commission 

One of the key recommendations from the reform committee is the creation of a Defence Technology Commission. This body would oversee major technology development projects, ensuring that India remains at the forefront of defence innovation. The proposed commission would also include a significant role for the Chief of Defence Staff in its executive committee, ensuring that the defence forces’ needs are adequately addressed in DRDO’s operations. 


The committee has suggested the creation of two Secretary posts within the DRDO, each with distinct roles currently managed by a single official. This change is intended to streamline operations and enhance the organisation’s efficiency. Additionally, the committee has advocated for a time-bound implementation of its recommendations to ensure swift and effective reform. 

Implementation of Reforms 

The implementation of these reforms will proceed as part of the government’s immediate agenda post-elections. Senior officials have indicated that the DRDO will continue to work on these initiatives, with progress monitored closely to align with the broader goal of strengthening India’s defence technology infrastructure.  


As the new government takes shape, further discussions and actions will solidify the path forward for these reforms, potentially transforming the DRDO into a more dynamic and responsive entity capable of meeting the evolving defence needs of the country.  

The inclusion of DRDO reforms in the government’s 100-day agenda underscores a strategic move to enhance India’s defence capabilities through technological advancements and organisational improvements. With active involvement from both military and industry experts, these reforms promise to position India as a leader in defence technology innovation. 


23:35 IST, May 22nd 2024