DRDO and Expectations of Stakeholders
DRDO is India’s major credible research and development organization that enables self-reliance and indigenisation of defence technologies and weapon systems to empower India in the emerging geo-political balance. The Organisation has its genesis in a technical inspection agency which over the years have transformed into a highly professional R&D organization with strong design and technology capabilities and skilled entrepreneurship to undertake development of state-of-the-art defence systems. DRDO driven R&D efforts have catalysed the growth of domestic defence and civilian industries in the country as well. The overarching endeavours of DRDO encompassing academia, private industry and Defence PSUs have helped in establishing a self-reliant defence industrial eco-system and collectively all have contributed in the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of “skill development” and “Make-in-India”. Yet, DRDO’s struggle at the national level continues since Armed Forces continue to depend on imports for major acquisitions. Indigenous options have not always established themselves as the preferred options even when they are available. The acceptability of DRDO developed products remains at a low ebb. The question is what more DRDO should do to ensure the acceptability of the users? This study examines the evolution of the DRDO and whether over the years DRDO has done enough or should do more to increase its visibility, acceptability, credibility and respectability? And how DRDO should reposition itself beyond MoD/Armed Forces in the national and international context to fulfill the ambitions of the country to play global roles? This paper also discusses how building the brand “DRDO” may possibly help DRDO.
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