DRDO seeks more budget

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) India’s premier defence research agency DRDO on Wednesday stressed the need for an enhanced budget, adding that China was spending around 20 percent of its defence expenditure on research, compared to 5-6 percent in India.

“There is a need for enhanced budget and augmentation of scientific manpower. A mere 5-6 percent of defence budget for R&D is inadequate to meet the aspirations of India’s defence needs especially when China spends about 20 percent of their defence budget for R&D,” said S. Christopher, director general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Christopher also said the organisation’s manpower has remained stagnant since 2001, and termed it a major issue.

“This is an issue which DRDO has been pursuing for a long time and currently a case for 436 scientists is with the government for approval,” he said.

The DRDO chief said the average age of scientists in DRDO is over 40 years.

“A top heavy and narrow base is not a healthy structure for R&D organisations. We hope the government will appreciate the gravity of the situation and take appropriate measures to ensure manpower,” he said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar meanwhile assured the DRDO all help, adding that scientist need to constantly upgrade themselves and duplication of work should be avoided.

He said the scientists must “learn from rishis” (ascetics), who overcame jealousy and anger since “many tussles and politics” had been seen in the scientists’ community.

He went ahead to quote example of mythological sage Dadhichi, saying he provided Indra with ‘vajra’.

“They say that he made it out of his bone but I think he would have probably done some scientific research to develop a metal which provided that kind of superior technology. So you can classify him into a scientist. But the major difference that I find in those days and today is that rishis (ascetics) had control over ego, control over anger. These are very important for educated person,” Parrikar said.

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