India’s premier defence research institute, DRDO, has established eight advanced technology centres enabling research on futuristic military applications, the government said on Saturday. These centres will also meet the future defence technological requirements of the country.

Responding to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said, “The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has created eight advanced technology centres across India to carry out research activities in the identified futuristic/new technology areas.”

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In August, the DRDO had set in motion a long-awaited process to commence mega reforms as well as to create enabling infrastructure for developing futuristic military weapons.

Naik also said the proposed corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will improve its autonomy, accountability and efficiency. The nearly 200-year-old OFB operates 41 ammunition production facilities across the country.

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“An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has been constituted under the chairmanship of the minister of defence to oversee and guide the entire process of privatisation of OFB, including transition support and redeployment plan of employees while safeguarding their wages and retirement benefits,” Naik said.

The DRDO has contributed significantly in developing various key weapons and military platforms for all the three services in the last six decades. However, there has been a view in the government that the DRDO should enhance its efficiency further in the sync with the government’s focus on making India self-reliant in defence manufacturing.