The spotlight is back on the National Institute for Research and Development in Shipbuilding (Nirdesh) at Chaliyam in Kozhikode with a top-level official meeting fixing deadlines to complete work at the institute.

The decision to put the institute’s work on a tight leash was taken in a meeting of the board of governors and general body of Nirdesh on March 19. The meeting was chaired by Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who is also the Chairman, board of governors, Nirdesh.

The meeting resolved that infrastructure work, presently being done by an agency of the Kerala government, Nirmithi Kendra, Kozhikode, should be completed by May 2013. The institute would commence functioning from the Chaliyam site by June 2013.

An official statement from Nirdesh on Wednesday said that a sub-committee set up to prepare a “roadmap for the growth of Nirdesh” had presented its report at the meeting and recommended that the infrastructure of Nirdesh be set up in three phases.

“A consultant to prepare the masterplan of the site will be engaged by July-August 2013,” the statement informed.

The Defence Minister had laid the foundation stone of Nirdesh in January 2011. The institute, governed by an autonomous society under the Ministry of Defence, aims to become a centre of excellence, guiding research, development, and training required to achieve self-reliance in warship and submarine building.

“The Indian Navy will be the major beneficiary of the functions of Nirdesh. The Navy will therefore be playing a lead role in setting up Nirdesh and its functioning. The general body decided to appoint the head of Naval Design Directorate as the nodal officer to support Nirdesh,” the statement said.

It added that an R&D sub-committee would be examining and selecting projects to commence this year, while several academic institutions, R&D agencies, industries and shipyards have shown interest in involving themselves in the activities of Nirdesh.

A project on indigenisation of rubber items used on Scorpene submarines is already progressing at Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam.

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