Friday, January 8, 2010

Workshop cum Exhibition on Low Intensity Conflict (LIC)-Technologies & Products being held at DRDO Bhawan on 10 -12-2009

An unstable internal security environment along with continuous skirmishes in our neighborhood is forcing India to change its priorities with respect to tackling security challenges. As the trend changes dramatically from conventional wars to non-conventional low intensity conflict and terrorism based activity, India’s security apparatus has to gear itself for a transformational focus of its activities.

DRDO, the R&D arm of the Ministry of Defence has over last few decades involved itself in providing technologies, products and systems for the Indian Armed Forces. This has been its traditional area of activity and focus. However with changing times and changing security scenario, DRDO has been directed to take a detailed look at the technologies and products required to meet the threat of Low Intensity conflict and Terrorist activities, which are aimed more increasingly on civilian population.

As part of its activities in this regard, DRDO had a series of interactions with different security agencies including Armed forces and Paramilitary forces. With the aim of familiarising the agencies with existing DRDO products and technologies, relevant for LIC applications, a two day workshop has been envisaged based on the theme “ Technologies and Products for LIC Operations”. The workshop includes a technical seminar with presentations on products by DRDO Scientists and a display / exhibition of the actual systems developed. Over 20 Industry partners and 60 Scientists are participating in this interactive workshop.

The workshop is having a participation of about 100 security personnel, drawn from the Services and PMF in addition to industry representatives and DRDO scientists. The Workshop was inaugurated by the Home Secretary Shri GK Pillai and had Lt. Gen Mukesh Sabarwal, AVSM VSM Adjutant Gen of the Indian Army as the Guest of Honour.

Details on the Seminar

Dr K. Sekhar, CCR&D (MS & LIC) in his opening address outlined the broad theme of the workshop which was aimed at familiarising the agencies with DRDO products. He outlined the efforts undertaken by DRDO hqrs in putting together a core team to identify User requirements through a number of interactions with various security agencies. He stressed on the need for the Users to understand the products available, witness the demonstrations and have in-depth discussions with the Scientists on the modifications and customisation requirements. He stated that DRDO would be launching a focussed LIC program for development of core technologies in a number of areas viz. Foliage penetration radars, through wall imaging systems, improved sensors and protection systems. Appropriate S&T initiatives for long term requirement would also be taken up and feedback on these two issues were requested from the participating Users.

The seminar was inaugurated by Home Secy Shri GK Pillai. In his inaugural address, the Home Secy highlighted the tech savvy character of the terrorist and stressed on the need to be one step ahead. He pointed out that there were one set of technologies for cross border terrorism and another set of technologies for home-grown insurgency. Hence where there is insufficient intelligence, advanced technology and innovation should come to the rescue. He expressed his pleasure on the initiative shown by DRDO in showcasing their products and extorted all para-military agencies under the Home Ministry to make the full use of all available products from the DRDO. He also suggested that the next interaction should be with DGs of the Police forces of all States and awareness of these systems must be passed on to them. He directed the paramilitary agencies to interact with DRDO first to pick-up off-the shelf products and secondly initiate efforts for new developments. Provisioning and Operations people should be in touch with DRDO after project initiation to monitor and bring the projects to successful fruition. Home Secy also requested for feedback report on the deliberations of the seminar for his future action.

Earlier, the special Guest of Honour Lt. Gen Mukesh Sabarwal, Adjutant General, Indian Army in his opening remarks commended the work of DRDO in helping to tackle the grave problem of terrorism. He identified surveillance as the major thrust area since the requirement of border surveillance employing night vision devices, Thermal Imagers and communication through hand held radios was of burning importance. He requested DRDO to interact with soldiers in the field to better understand the working requirements. IED detection and light weight body armour were other important areas identified for DRDO attention. Yet another major area of interest for future development was the use on incapacitating / stunning non-lethal agents for minimising collateral damage. The final major requirement spelt out was the need for integrated surveillance by networking various surveillance devises to get a composite picture. He requested DRDO to invest their R&D efforts in this area with time schedules as an important factor.

The Inaugural Session was attended by about 250 personnel from the Services, Para military forces, industry partners, DRDO scientists. A demo of the products was also made to the Guests

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