HYDERABAD: It was the youth power that launched the Agni-V. Young scientists in the 25-35 age group, with indomitable spirit and utter sincerity, worked silently and tirelessly for the success of the mission that propelled India into the exclusive club of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM).
The loss of the IT industry has been the gain of the Defence Research and Development Organisation
(DRDO). Until a few years ago, DRDO was struggling to get enough engineering graduates and senior officials sorely complained about this trend. But, instability in the IT sector made young engineering graduates to look to the defence establishment as the right place to achieve their goals. The defence organisation too went out of its way to make campus recruitments.
According to officials of DRDO, which along with the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), the Research Centre Imarat, and Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) works on the missile programme, 80% of over 500 scientists and technical personnel involved in Agni-V and other projects are below 35 years of age. In fact, 50% of the scientists are below 30 years.
"The most challenging aspect of working for the defence establishment is that there is a lot of scope to be innovative. In a control regime where a lot of technologies are denied by advanced countries, our scientists had the responsibility of developing software and technologies indigenously. And they did it
," said Ravi Kumar Gupta, director, Directorate of Public Interface, DRDO, New Delhi.
According to officials, DRDO has also been working with students in various universities across the country for the development of technologies for various systems. Students of Osmania University, University of Hyderabad, and the IITs are also involved
in different programmes and their contribution has been direct or indirect.
The work culture in defence organisations leaves no scope for red tape. "A senior scientist can directly interact with his young colleague. If there is a disagreement on any matter of importance, they are openly expressed. It is this freedom that helps every scientist to work unhindered towards a goal
," a senior scientist said.
The young scientists in the defence establishments still savour the successful test-firing of the 5,000-km range ICBM that can reach the northern part of China.
"Our families did not quite know our nature of work. But after the missile was test-fired and Agni-V generated a euphoria in the country, that is when they realised the importance of our work. We are actually being looked at as heroes among our families, friends and relatives
," a young scientist who works at the Research Centre Imarat said.
Youth powered Agni-V - The Times of India