‘Government can’t pay at par with private sector’

April 29th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Even as the premier military research body, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), continues losing its top scientists to the private sector, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Tuesday said the government cannot compete with multi-nationals in terms of fat pay cheques. “We know that the private sector is giving good salaries to DRDO scientists but the government cannot compete with the multi-national companies in offering pay. However, there will be increase in the salaries after implementation of the pay commission recommendations,” Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

DRDO, which celebrates its golden jubilee this year, has lost around 1,107 scientists between 2003 and 2007, implying that on an average one person leaves every two days.

Taking note of the shortage of manpower in DRDO, Antony said: “The attrition rate is high. But we have increased the intake of scientists.”

The attrition rate in DRDO, having a strength of 7,000 scientists, is about 6.3 percent. And what is worsening the situation is that the organisation is able to fill up only 60-70 percent of the scientists’ vacancies.

The scientists in DRDO are in great demand in the private sector as they get to work in various areas like aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation engineering systems, missiles, materials, naval systems, advance computing, simulation and life sciences.

Antony also talked about revamping DRDO.

“The report of the Rama Rao committee appointed to suggest measures to streamline the organisation is under consideration and will be implemented soon,” he said.

The report of the committee, headed by eminent scientist P. Rama Rao, suggested that the DRDO focus all its attention on 10 to 14 critical projects like missiles, anti-missiles systems, light combat aircraft, aero engines, electronic warfare, and development of high altitude extreme endurance weaponised unmanned aerial vehicles.

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