A Defence Technology Commission will be set up on the lines of the Atomic Energy Commission to improve the functioning of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories in the country, V. K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, said here on Saturday.

He was here to inaugurate the Environmental Test Centre (ETC) on the premises of the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).

Talking to journalists later, Dr. Saraswat said that the Commission, to be chaired by the Defence Minister, would take key decisions to promote self-reliance among the DRDO labs through better funding and administrative decentralisation. He was optimistic that the setting up of the Commission would lead to improved performance and ultimately benefit the end-users.

Describing the NSTL as one of the best DRDO labs in the country, he said, the new facility would enable it to test its products on its own instead of getting them tested in Hyderabad and Bangalore. “Since India is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), we will not build chemical weapons ourselves. We are, however, developing technologies to counter the possible use of such weapons by non-signatories to the treaty,” he said in reply to a question.

The DRDO had indigenously developed counter nuclear warfare equipment to dilute the effects of nuclear weapons.

Asked to comment on apprehensions that the Chinese had intruded into our computer networks, he said that all countries were exposed to the threat of cyber warfare due to proliferation of the internet. A variety of tools were being developed by the DRDO to counter cyber warfare while a lab in Bangalore was working exclusively on improving network security.

Dr. Saraswat expressed the view that increased production of electronic components within the country as also stringent screening of electronic parts and equipment being imported from other countries would go a long way in reducing the risk of external agencies playing with our security systems.