On Thursday, in Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 5 new scientific laboratories, which will employ only scientists under the age of 35 to develop cutting-edge and futuristic technologies for military weaponry.
Three months after Modi won the 2014 elections, he proposed that the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) empower its younger scientists by establishing at least 5 laboratories where everyone, including the director, was under the age of 35.
“We need labs in India which utilize raw talent, which employ people only below the age of 35. Let us allow these young scientists full decision-making power,” said Modi.
In response to his call, 5 so-called DRDO Young Scientist Laboratories (DYSLs) have come up in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. “Each lab is working on a key advanced technology of importance to the development of futuristic defence systems,” said the DRDO on Thursday.
“Research in the area of rapidly evolving artificial intelligence will be carried out at Bengaluru. The all-important area of quantum technology will be based out of IIT Mumbai. The future is dependent on cognitive technologies and IIT Chennai will house the lab embarking in this area of research. New and futuristic area of asymmetric technologies, which will change the way wars are fought, will be based out of campus of Jadhavpur University, Kolkata. The research in hot and critical area of smart materials and their applications will be based out of Hyderabad,” announced the DRDO.
A committee, chaired by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, K Vijay Raghavan, has selected the directors of these laboratories. “Directors are empowered with financial and administrative authority at par with any director of a DRDO laboratory,” the DRDO said.
While the five DYSLs would be reserved for youth, the DRDO’s existing 52 laboratories are already utilising a large number of younger scientists in research on 21st century subjects like cyber security, electronic warfare and underwater systems.