DRDO Headless for 3 Months as Govt Fails to Appoint New Chief

Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra is holding the reins till the government approves of a chief.

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After the retirement of Selvin Christopher, the chief of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the body is likely to remain without a head for the next three months.

Christopher, who was being anticipated to have an extension bid farewell on Monday, 29 May, with Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra holding the reins of the organisation till the government approves a scientist to take over the top position, an official notification said.

"The competent authority has approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development to Sanjay Mitra, Defence Secretary, for a period of three months with effect from 29 May, 2018 and until further orders," an official statement said, as quoted by IANS.

According to The Economic Times (ET), efforts to extend Christopher’s term could have delayed the appointment of a successor. Christopher was already on a year’s extension of service beyond the prescribed age.


According to ET, those in the fray include missile scientists G Satheesh Reddy, the scientific advisor to the defence minister and the head of the Brahmos missile project, Sudhir Mishra.

Pravin K Mehta, head of the Armament cluster of the research organisation from Pune, is also a contender.

The premier defence research organisation has often been criticised for delayed projects with most of its ventures – be it Tejas light combat aircraft or long-range surface-to-air missile systems – have repeatedly missed deadlines, causing huge cost overruns.

(With inputs from ET and IANS)

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