Facing bitter criticism from Parliamentarians for long delays in the development of Main Battle Tank (MBT), Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the Kaveri engine, the Defence Research & Development Organisation was on Wednesday asked by the Defence Minister A. K. Antony to complete its programmes within the prescribed time-limit.

Speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee, attached to him ministry, Mr. Antony said the DRDO should invest mainly in “critical and strategic” areas. He said the research organisation should concentrate on high-end research and utilize resources in fundamental research, lay more emphasis on major mission-mode programmes for armed force. He asked the DRDO to pool together resources and talent available in academic and other R&D institutions.

Cutting across party lines, the MPs were "bitterly critical of delays in the development of Arjun, LCA and the Kaveri engine," a release of the Defence Ministry said.

The DRDO is presently working on 532 projects including those relating to mission-mode, technology demonstrator and infrastructure facilities and they are in various stages of implementation. "While some projects have been completed, others are in different stages of production and induction, as well as in stages of development and trial," the release said.

Mr. Antony also complimented DRDO for developing latest technology as well as strategic and tactical defence systems. He lauded it for the recent successful launch of Agni V missile. Speaking at the meeting, DRDO chief and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Avinash Chander said structural changes have been brought about from September this year in the functioning of DRDO in line with the recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee Report for greater efficiency and accountability.

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