CVRDE Director gives inaugural address at ‘Kurukshetra'

Emulating the example set by leading car manufacturers in the world, India's defence scientists are contemplating the development of hybrid vehicles that can use electricity as a source of fuel, said P.Sivakumar, director of the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE).

“Our armoured vehicles currently use huge diesel engines. On the warfront, battle tanks idle most of the time and the fuel engines emit a lot of noise and heat, which can be used to detect their position. We want to use high-performance batteries as a source of backup power. This secondary ‘twin engine' can be switched on whenever required. No other country has such a technology at the moment,” he said.

Speaking here on Wednesday at the inauguration of ‘Kurukshetra 2012', the annual techno-management fest of the College of Engineering Guindy, Mr.Sivakumar said that CVRDE would launch a prototype ‘unmanned ground vehicle' with mine detection capabilities by next year.

With the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) working on developing technologies that could be used in low-intensity conflicts, such as the Maoist insurgency, Mr.Sivakumar said that unmanned vehicles that can be used for surveillance and landmine detection are going to be critical requirements in a few years.

“But we require high precision sensors of various types to develop such systems. This is where students come into the picture. There is a crippling shortage of young scientists,” he said.

Pointing out that there are about 7,000 scientists working for the DRDO now, he said the plan was to induct at least 3,000 more over the next 10 years. “At least 300-400 young scientists would be inducted each year. Students can sit for the Scientist Entrance Test, and those who qualify will be sent for a three month programme at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology.

The government is also willing to fund educational trips abroad,” Mr.Sivakumar added. Chief People Officer of Cognizant Shankar Srinivasan spoke. The inaugural was followed by a video conferencing session in which Steven Goldfarb of CERN gave a virtual tour of the large hadron collider and the ATLAS experiment which is being carried out at the facility.

The four-day tech fest at CEG would feature a variety of lectures, workshops and hands-on events.

A summit on ‘Nuclear energy: Balancing benefits and risks' is also scheduled for this year. For further details, log on to www.kurukshetra.org.in. TheHindu is the media partner for the event.