History of DRDO(Defence Research & Development Organization)

History of DRDO

DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization ) was formed in 1958 from the amalgamation of the then already functioning Technical Development Establishment (TDEs) of the Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production (DTDP) with the Defence Science Organisation (DSO).

DRDO was then a small organisation with 10 establishments or laboratories. Over the years, it has grown multi-directionally in terms of the variety of subject disciplines, number of laboratories, achievements and stature.

Today, DRDO is a network of 51 laboratories which are deeply engaged in developing defence technologies covering various disciplines, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences,training, information systems and agriculture.

Presently, the Organisation is backed by over 5000 scientists and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.

Several major projects for the development of missiles, armaments, light combat aircrafts, radars, electronic warfare systems etc are on hand and significant achievements have already been made in several such technologies.

Official Website

DRDO - Vision
Make India prosperous by establishing world class science and technology base and provide our Defence Services decisive edge by equipping them with internationally competitive systems and solutions.

DRDO - Mission
Design, develop and lead to production state-of-the-art sensors, weapon systems, platforms and allied equipment for our Defence Services.

Provide technological solutions to the Services to optimise combat effectiveness and to promote well-being of the troops.

Develop infrastructure and committed quality manpower and build strong indigenous technology base.

Core Competence
Having developed several advanced defence systems, DRDO has acquired expertise in a wide spectrum of defence technologies.
Areas of the core competence of the organisation include:
Systems Design and Integration of Complex Sensors,
Weapon Systems and Platforms;
Development of Complex High-end Software Packages;
Development of Functional Materials;
Test and Evaluation;
Technology Transfer and Absorption.

In addition, Expertise and Infrastructure have been built up for carrying out basic/applied research in areas of relevance to
Defence Science and Technology,
Quality Assurance and Safety,
Project and Technology Management.

Human Resource Development


Defence Research & Development Services (DRDS)
Recruitment and selection of right people with desired competencies form the base of building an effective organisation. Defence Research & Development Organisation recruit/select scientists and engineers through an annual competitive examination at national level called Scientist Entry Test (SET) through open advertisement. In addition to this, talent search through campus interviews, scholarship scheme through Aeronautics Research & Development Board (ARDB ) and fresh Ph.D scholars under Registration of Students with Scholastic Aptitude (ROSSA) is also launched.

Defence Research Technical Cadre (DRTC)
The members of this cadre form strong skilled manpower base to assist scientists and engineers engaged in research and development work.

Admin & Allied Cadre
The members of Admin & Allied cadre provide administrative/establishment support. Personnel for officer post are recruited through UPSC and non-gazetted personnel are recruited by the laboratories/establishments as per the notified Recruitment Rules.

Training and Development

DRDO has a dynamic training and development policy which is executed through the Continuing Educational Programmes (CEP) for all cadre personnel viz DRDS, DRTC, Admin & Allied. At the entry level in DRDS, the newly recruited scientists undergo a 16 weeks Induction Course at Institute of Armament Technology (IAT), Pune.

Under the Research and Training (R&T) scheme the scientists are sponsored for ME/M Tech programmes at IITs/IISc and reputed universities. The fees is also reimbursed by the DRDO where scientists undergo Ph.D programme.

In addition to this, the Organisation through its two premier Institutes namely Institute of Technology Management (ITM) and Institute of Armament Technology (IAT) deemed university offer courses for scientists and Armed Forces in the area of Technology Management, R&D Management and Armament. Recently, a training centre at Jodhpur has been established to meet the training needs for Admin & Allied cadre.

In order to attract the futuristic talent, DRDO has Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Senior Research Fellow (SRF) and Research Associate (RA) schemes for young & dynamic personnel & interested in Defence Research and Development.

Flexible Complementing Scheme

In DRDO, under DRDS Rules 1979, as amended from time to time, Flexible Complementing Scheme (FCS) for promotion up to the grade of Scientist ‘G’ from one grade to the next higher grade is in force, w.e.f. 01 Jul 1990. The post held by scientist shall stand upgraded automatically to the next higher grade on Merit-based promotion under the FCS. DRDO operates a fully Flexible Complementing Scheme (FCS) wherein, the post is upgraded automatically upto the grade of Sc ‘G’. FCS operates on the basis of evaluation of Confidential Performance Appraisal Report (C-PAR) and interviews of Scientists in the grades of Scientist ‘B’ to Scientist ‘E’ by Assessment Boards and assessment of Scientist ‘F’ to Scientist ‘G’ by Peer Review.

Research Boards

Life Sciences Research Board ( LSRB )

The Life Sciences & Research Board ( LSRB ) supports research proposals in life sciences on broad topics such as biological and biomedical sciences, psychology and physiology, bio-engineering, specialized high altitude agriculture, food science & technology, etc.

The Board has instituted a Grants-in-Aid Scheme to nurture the research talent, in IITs, universities, medical and life science institutions, colleges and other research centres including industries, in the country for promoting research and development programmes in life sciences & allied fields. Under this Scheme, grants are offered to approved research institutions, universities or colleges, departments or laboratories both in the Government and non-Government sectors.

The scheme is coordinated through a number of specialist panels duly constituted by the Chairman, LSRB to cover different disciplines.

Objectives of the LSRB are as under:-

Expanding and deepening the knowledge-base of life sciences in the country through strengthening and use of national resources including know-how and expertise.

Catalysing cross-fertilization of ideas and expertise between research scientists for providing support to the soldiers in operations

Enhancing core competence in the field of knowledge germane to development, manufacture and use biomedical and biotechnological products

Create conditions suitable for attracting talent and expertise from overseas locations through collaborations and other academic exchanges.

Naval Research Board ( NRB )

The NRB was set up in August 1996 to encourage basic research in the field of marine technologies and to strengthen & deepen the knowledge-base related to the naval environment. The Board has instituted a Grants-in-Aid Scheme to nurture research talent and to create research facilities in IITs, universities, higher technological institutions, engineering colleges and other research centers including industries in the country for promoting basic research, design & development.

The objectives of the NRB are as under:

To encourage and provide funds for basic research in pertinent scientific disciplines of broad relevance to our future Navy by enabling and supporting emerging talent, most particularly in academic institutions.

To create and evolve a knowledge-base potentially applicable to the Navy.

The Board focuses on the generation/enhancement of the applicable knowledge-base through innovative research work leading to the exploitation of the sea for military purpose inter alia benign techniques/related instrumentation, underwater communication, ranging & imaging systems, marine bioactive resources, environmental hazards & operations, generic technology development including design tools and understanding of human factors in the Navy.

The Board supports basic research that will generate new knowledge potentially useful to the Navy and to train young minds to generate and apply that knowledge for Naval purposes. The Board approves research programs for funding based on evaluation and recommendations of specialist panels in various disciplines i.e. composite materials sealth materials, hydrodynamics (including propulsion), sonar & signal behaviour, ocean environment, and scientific computing.

Aeronautical Research & Development Board ( ARDB )

The Aeronautical Research & Development Board(ARDB ) was set up by the Government of India to coordinate, provide funds and sensitize futuristic, scientific technological areas having potential applications for aeronautical systems, at academic institutions and national scientific laboratories. For this purpose, Grants-in-Aid of Rs. 5 crore per year has been earmarked. Besides the projects activities, the Board promotes Centre of Excellence in selected areas like computational fluid dynamics, systems design & engineering and composite structures technology; some more centres are under consideration. Intellectual Property developed through ARDB funding is shared with the grantee institution. The Board also promotes seminars, presentation of papers in India & abroad, writing of books, and promoting air mindedness in school children.

Armament Research Board ( ARMREB )

The Armament Research Board ( ARMREB ) was constituted in 1997 to promote innovative research in scientific fields useful for armament discipline. The Board was set up to enhance the intellectual, physical infrastructure and scientific understanding in the field of armaments to meet the future challenge. Armament being a complex multi-disciplinary field involves ballistics and aerodynamics, materials and metallurgy, mechanical and electronic engineering, opto-electronics and computer techniques, explosives and pyrotechnics, modeling, simulation and system analyses, etc. Three research panels covering an entire spectrum of armament discipline are operating under the Board.

The objectives of ARMREB are as under:-

1) To foster knowledge-based growth of armament discipline in the country, strengthening and integration of national resources of knowledge, know how, experience, facilities and infrastructure.

2) To catalyze the needed cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences between defence and non-defence experts in scientific and technical fields that contribute to armament technology.

3) To launch and coordinate research in specified areas of armament discipline in academic institutions.

4) To create conditions suitable for attracting talents and experience through research collaborations and other academic exchanges.

5) To adopt synergic approach towards national needs and priorities in the field of armaments, yet keeping in focus the global advancements, in order to develop competence in key areas.

6) To help in creating self-sufficiency in critical technologies needed for development of competitive armament stores and put the armament discipline in the fore-front in global scenario.

7) To lead to technological innovations useful for combat multiplier both for the near term and future.

Charter of Duties

The ARMREB has the following charter of duties:-
1)To support basic research applicable to armament discipline.
2)To set principles and practices governing the relationship of DRDO with the academic world.
3)To consider and approve, by peer evaluation, research proposals submitted to ARMREB.
4)To set funding pattern and funding methodology for the research panels of ARMREB.ARMREB will exclude funding of development of system hardware.

Grants-in-Aid Scheme

The ARMREB has instituted a “Grant-in-Aid” Scheme to harness and nurture the research talents available in academic institutions. Under this scheme, grants are offered to research organizations/universities/departments/laboratories/industries for research in basic sciences and engineering, setting up of basic facilities/ infrastructure, organising seminars/symposia/workshops, etc.

Extramural Research/Intellectual Property Right (ER/IPR)

DRDO sponsors new research projects in the area of basic science/applied sciences under DRDO Grants-in-Aid Scheme to various academic institutions and R&D labs outside the boundaries of DRDO. The Directorate of ER/IPR invites project proposals from various academic institutions R&D labs and industries in the prescribed format.

The proposal is sent to concerned DRDO labs/academic institutions/other R&D labs for review based on the scientific & technical merits of the proposal.

The comments of reviewers are then forwarded to Project Investigator in case any clarification/modification in the proposal is sought by reviewer accordingly, without disclosing the name and address of reviewer.

On the basis of favourable comments of reviewers the minutes are prepared and the case is put up to the concerned competent authority for its approval/sanction.

The progress of the research work is reviewed by DRDO periodically and progress report is submitted by Project Investigator to the Directorate of ER&IPR along with the minutes of Project Review Committee (PRC). Assets of a capital nature, acquired out of the sanctioned grant, are the property of DRDO.

The accounts audited by external audit authority/statutory auditor, Utilisation Certificate and Closure Report are submitted by Project Investigator at the end of closure of the project.

The Intellectual Property arising out of these projects lies with the host institution unlike in the case of CARs projects by DRDO labs where it lies with the laboratory of origin.

The Directorate of ER/IPR provides the Grant-in-Aid also to organize the conferences/symposia/workshops/seminars to various academic institutions/R&D labs in the field of science and technology with interest to DRDO/Defence.

The Technical Reports received from Project Investigator(s) on closure of the project are circulated to concerned DRDO labs for the their perusal, comments and use.

Partnership with Industries

The DRDO has taken a conscious decision to actively promote participation of Indian Industries in defence production. Interactions with industries take place during different phases of a product cycle, such as:-

Development Phase - Once system/product to be developed is identified and qualitative requirements are established, suitable industrial entities are identified to participate in the activity as ‘developmental partners’.

LSP (Limited Series Production) Phase - Once a lab developed prototype system is successfully evaluated by prospective users, a limited series production order is usually placed by the prospective users. Industry partners are co-opted for execution of this phase of activity.

Bulk Production - Even though traditionally PSUs and Ordnance Factories undertake bulk production of weapon systems and equipment. Primarily, a substantial portion of the work of production of sub-system is being farmed out by them in consultation with the nodal DRDO laboratory to private industries in the civil sector. With the opening up of defence production to industries in the private sector, their involvement is steadily going up.

Spin-offs, Marketing - Private industry is called upon to exploit the civil spin-offs from the defence technology by effecting required repackaging/modification. At times there is a requirement of industry taking up maintenance of the equipment on its sub-systems for a defined period. Scope also exists for industry to seek potential market for these products in India/Abroad with due approvals.

DRDO has been actively promoting private industries participation in its entire gamut of activities. Interactions are organized at regular intervals not only with interested industrial units but also with organizations such as CII, FICCI, ASOCHAM. DRDO has organized several DRDO-Industry meets to appraise industry veterans about opportunities awaiting them in Defence R&D. These initiatives have been highly appreciated by the Indian Industry.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I wish to know if there are any grants/projects of DRDO to engineering colleges.

Please contact dhanamjayas@rediffmail.com