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DRDO drive to recruit NRI scientists

M. Somasekhar

Hyderabad , Nov. 21

WITH a slew of challenging research projects under way, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), has intensified its recruitment drive, eyeing mainly Non-Resident Indian scientists through an exclusive scheme.

The target is to induct 500-700 scientists, who will beef up the research teams to accelerate development work on the largely funded projects.

At present, about 70-80 NRI scientists are also joining the network of about 52 DRDO labs, involved in developing critical technologies and equipment for the defence sector across the country.

"We want to introduce latest human resources and recruitment techniques to ensure that the best talent, with the right aptitude for the right job join DRDO," the Chairman, Recruitment & Assessment Centre (RAC), Dr K.V. Raghavan, told Business Line.

RAC is planning to conduct video interviews with willing NRI scientists, in addition to the existing system of evaluating their curriculum vitae, so that relevant challenge can be offered to them, along with the remuneration package, he said.

The NRI scientists who are seeking positions in DRDO labs hail from the US, UK, Germany, Japan, France and a few European countries. They are mostly drawn from the university circuit and a few private laboratories.

Compelling domestic reasons apart, higher challenge, good start in salary and the scope to develop expertise in newer areas of scientific research within the country, through DRDO are some of the key factors drawing the scientists back to India, Dr Raghavan said.

The recruitment of NRI scientists is done every quarter with an expert committee screening the applications. The selection has been pre-dominantly at the middle level and appointments done on a one-year adhoc basis, he said.

Recruitment in the DRDO has been necessitated since a large number of scientists are due to retire. The total scientific strength of the organisation is now 7,000, of which 25 per cent are youngsters, thanks to the aggressive intake, Dr Raghavan said.

The DRDO policy now is to increase the `Residency Stay', of new entrant scientists to 3-5 years. For this, it is devising incentive packages, including higher start, facility to pursue higher studies, external registration with IITs , and providing challenging tasks, he added.

In order to attract bright youngsters at the entry level, a three-pronged strategy has been put in place. This includes — campus recruitment from leading engineering institutes; written exam with applicants from the universities and direct interviews for specialised scientific areas such as nuclear medicine, biomedical engineering and genetics.

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