Source: The post is based on the article “Guns ’N Rovers – Why sarkari Isro delivers but sarkari DRDO doesn’t” published in The Times of India on 26th August 2023.
Syllabus: GS 3 – Indigenization of Technology, Defence Technology.
Relevance: concerns with DRDO
News: There has been an increasing disparity between the ISRO and the DRDO. DRDO is criticized for inefficiency.
What are the concerns with DRDO?
A recent CAG audit pointed out multiple delays in DRDO’s key projects.
According to SIPRI, India remained the largest arms importer from 2018 to 2022. This is because of insufficient coordination between DRDO and India’s armed forces, resulting in delays and increased costs.
The challenge of defense procurement can be seen as a trilemma, seeking high-quality, affordable, and quick delivery. These complexities have led to India becoming the leading arms importer.
How can DRDO become efficient?
Global arms industry sees limited technology transfer. Hence, it becomes challenging for India to develop indigenous arms.
However, evaluating DRDO’s performance requires considering the requirements of the armed services and the budget constraints of the government.
Hence, for DRDO to succeed, the government should ensure effective cooperation with the armed services and stick to achievable projects. This effort must be supported by consistent investments, as globally failure rates are high.
A restructured approach can enable the establishment of a domestic high-tech defense foundation.