DRDO seeks more budget, says China spends more on defence research

India’s premier defence research organisation, DRDO has said China was spending close to 20% of its defence outlay on research and development as compared to a mere 5-6% in India. Seeking an enhanced budget, it also pitched for increased manpower saying that a top heavy institution with a narrow base is not an ideal situation.

The Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), S Christopher said there were a few issues which continued to remain a cause of concern and came in the way of the organization’s growth. “There is a need for enhanced budget and augmentation of scientific manpower. A mere 5-6% of defence budget for R&D is inadequate to meet the aspirations of India’s defence needs especially when China spends about 20% of their defence budget for R&D,” he said inaugurating the 39th Directors’ Conference of DRDO here.

He said the manpower has remained stagnant since 2001. “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, adding that any research and development institution depends on new blood to work on technological needs of tomorrow. “Today the average age of a scientist 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 adequate manpower,” he said.