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The 25th   DRDO Directors' Conference was held during 18-19 March 2001 at the Metcalfe House Complex, Delhi. Dr VK Aatre, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, inaugurated the Conference and addressed the Directors. The Conference had three Technical Sessions and one session on Technology Awards Ceremony:

Technical Session I: Enhancing DRDO's Effectiveness .Dr VK Aatre delivering the inaugural address
Chaired by Shri K Santhanam, Chief Adviser (Technologies)

Technical Session II: Challenges in Manpower Development & Retention
Chaired by Dr AK Datta, CC R&D (M) and Dr AS Pillai, CC R&D (P) & DS

Technical Session III: Laboratory Issues
Chaired by Shri R Swaminathan, CC R&D (R) and Shri VP Sandlas, CC R&D (S) & DS

Technology Awards Ceremony
Chaired by Dr VK Aatre, SA to RM

In the technical session on Enhancing DRDO's Effectiveness, Shri M Natarajan, CC (ACE) & DS presented the findings of his committee report. There was total agreement that system development should be taken up only after evaluating the maturity of the technologies required for the system. The technology should be based on the laboratory's core competence and the need for development of certain technologies be realised during the product development phase itself. The discussion related to the technology management led to the agreement on the necessity of investment for technology development. Dr Aatre concluded the session by observing that there is a need to develop system, which drives technologies, and at the same time there is need for having some projects where technologies will be emanating from strong science and techniques.

A session of Directors' Conference in progressDuring the session on Challenges in Manpower Development & Retention, the Directors deliberated on the various aspects of Human Resource Development (HRD) in DRDO and agreed for the constitution of regional HRD conveners besides constitution of an HRD cell in every DRDO lab/estt. The other issues discussed were related to the (i) Cadre structure of DRDS, where it was observed that due to large attrition of 3-4 per cent every year at junior level, there is a need to induct 500-600 scientists every year in the DRDS stream, and (ii) Mandatory training for scientists in career growth, where there was a consensus that training was essential for enhancing effectiveness. The SA was of the view that training need not be mandatory for an individual, but it would be mandatory for each DRDO lab/estt to have a training programme for its manpower .

During the technical session on Laboratory Issues, technical presentations were made on region-specific issues by four regional coordinators, namely, Director, DRDL; Director, MTRDC; Director, R&DE (Engrs); and Director, INMAS. The Director, DRDL, who represented the central region, spoke on Welfare Works. The Director, MTRDC, who represented the southern region, spoke on Technology-General Issues. The Director, R&DE (Engrs), who represented western region, presented viewpoints on Personnel Policies. The Director, INMAS, who represented the northern region, spoke on Material Management, HRD, Resource and Security Issues.

During the Technology Awards Ceremony, SA to RM conferred Young Scientist Award and Best Performance Award to the scientists for their outstanding contributions. A CD, Atmabodh was released by Shri K Santhanam, followed by screening of videos on Year in Retrospect and Aero India - 2001.

The Conference ended with vote of thanks by Shri KVSS Prasad Rao, Director, RCI, Hyderabad.