Keeping in tune with India’s mission for technological upgradation and self-reliance in the defence sector, the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, has approved a new research centre at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee).
The facility will be known as ‘DRDO Industry Academia-Centre of Excellence’ (DIA-CoE) at IIT Roorkee. This has also been intimated in a seminar on Atmaanirbharta in Defence R & D held at the recent DefExpo 2022, India, at Gandhinagar, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
It was announced that Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with its vision and new role towards nation-building has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with six IITs including IIT Roorkee.
Prof. Vipul Rastogi, Department of Physics, IIT Roorkee was present to acknowledge the MoU exchange with DRDO Chairman Samir V Kamath at the DefExpo. Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, Director General Technology Management (DGTM), Hari Babu Srivastava, and the Director, Directorate of Futuristic Technology Management (DFTM) Kailash Pathak witnessed the event.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also concurred on the important role of DRDO as a facilitator for enhancing and help developing research facilities in academic Institutes like IITs. DFTM, DRDO HQrs will be steering and coordinating with academia/IITs, Industries, and DRDO labs for directed research through the DIA-CoE.
With the establishment of the Research Centre, IIT Roorkee will have improved prospects and avenues to address critical and futuristic defence technology requirements of the armed forces. The Facility will receive financial assistance from the DRDO, Government of India.
The DIA-CoE IITR will facilitate and undertake multidisciplinary directed basic and applied research in the research verticals mutually identified by the DRDO and IITR. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will also collaborate with the academic researchers and faculties at IIT Roorkee, startups, industries, and other institutes in the country in facilitating and progressing advanced defence technology research. It will include IITR faculty members and students, DRDO scientists, start-ups, industry, and other research organizations.
Key research areas of the Centre include, Smart Infrastructure and Hardened Structures for Defence Applications, Energy Storage Devices, Landslide, Snow, and Avalanche Studies, Pulsed Laser and Specialty Fiber, Shock and Detonics, Thermal Management
The vertical coordinators for the DIA-CoE proposal are Prof Manish Shrikhande, Prof Yogesh K Sharma, Prof Vimal C Srivastava, Prof Vipul Rastogi, and Prof Andallib Tariq. The DIA-CoE IITR will enable collaborative research on these themes of verticals, which would lead to the development of new technologies for cutting-edge future defence systems as per the research and technology roadmap of the nation.
Prof. K. K. Pant, Director, IIT Roorkee, said, “IIT Roorkee hopes that with the establishment of this CoE, the collaborative research and development activity will be able to further enhance our research capacity and make a meaningful contribution to society. This will not only facilitate self-reliance in defence technology but also cater to the needs of our defence personnel deployed in areas with extreme environmental conditions. The establishment of the Center will help utilizing the huge potential of IIT Roorkee to advance research and development under the six identified verticals.”
Dr Samir V Kamat, Secretary Defence R & D and Chairman DRDO said, “DRDO-Industry-Academia Centre of Excellence at IIT Roorkee will provide a big leap in the scientific endeavours in the identified technologies. The CoE will enable structured engagement of DRDO laboratories with academic community for development of future technologies. In the context of IIT Roorkee.”
Hari Babu Srivastava, DGTM, said, “The themes of identified technology verticals are chosen carefully with mutual consultations between the experts of IIT Roorkee and DRDO. He also noted that the establishment of the DIA-CoE is a natural progression of strong relationship between IIT Roorkee and DRDO, built over a large number of successful research projects since long. The CoE would strive towards developing high-end technologies and products by leveraging the strengths of all three participants, i.e., theoretical base of IITR faculty, domain expertise of DRDO laboratories, and fabrication capabilities of industry partners. Establishment of DIA CoE at IIT Roorkee is expected to play a major role in making India world leader in identified defence technologies towards Atamnirbhar Bharat”.