Liberate Scientific Pursuit From Bureaucratic Clutches: Nair

Liberate Scientific Pursuit From Bureaucratic Clutches: Nair
Former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair today came down heavily on the Government for reportedly clipping the financial powers of DRDO chief V K Saraswat, calling it quite "disturbing" and a "retrograde" step.

Terming the reported action as "quite disturbing", he said the decision comes at a time when DRDO is "at its best, delivered the goods by launching the Agni-V and making the country proud".

A section of the press has reported that government has decided to impose restrictions on financial powers of DRDO Director General Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Defence R&D Secretary, after internal audit and ongoing CAG scrutiny raised red flag over his decisions.

"Only if the scientists are allowed to perform fearlessly and with fully delegated powers can technology grow in the country. When we are talking about liberalisation in economic front, we must also consider liberating the scientific pursuit from the bureaucratic clutches so that self-reliance can be achieved," Nair, former Secretary in the Department of Space and Space Commission Chairman, told PTI here.

"I do not know why people at the top in the government fail to understand the complexity of developing sophisticated technology and the need for encouraging the technologists to perform rather than demotivate them," Nair said.

He said there can be jealousy in internal or external sources on the improved performance of DRDO and the contribution to self-reliance in the area of defence preparedness.

"It could have led to undue influence on the administrative circles which would have led to this retrograde step. It is for the scientific communities to condemn the restrictive policies of the administration to clip the authority and powers of the technocrats," he said.

He said one of the factors which contributed to the excellent performance of DRDO in the recent past is due to liberalisation of procedures.

According to Nair, it is acclaimed that the Department of Atomic energy and Department of Space are known for their performance. Primary reason for this is the delegation of full powers of the Government to the respective Commissions (Atomic Energy and Space).

"The decision-making is decentralised and practically there is no interference from administration. Prime Minister had openly complimented the performance of these departments."

In the light of this, he said, a few years back Rama Rao committee was appointed to review and recommend on restructuring DRDO.

"As per recommendation of the committee, only the enhanced financial delegation to DRDO was approved in 2010. Even these limits were lower than what is experienced by DAE or ISRO", he added.
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