DRDO’s youngest awardee of ‘Agni Award for Self Reliance’ is from J&K UT

by Editorial

The 37-year-old Amir Sharma, Cyber Advisor, DRDO, was a major focus point of DRDO award function. Hailing from J&K, he is DRDO’s youngest awardee of “Agni Award for Self Reliance”. His work in the domain of cyber has made country self-reliant in this field.

This Chevening scholar from UK has developed many advanced technologies in cyber domain. This award is generally given to very senior scientists and their team for their path breaking work. The average age for this award till last year was above 50 years. The Prime Minister’semphasis for the budding young scientists in cyber domain, the DRDO has been further encouraging the young minds in this field. Amit Sharma was awarded for his special monograph on ‘The Art of Cyber wars’ at the UK Defence Academy in 2009. He was also awarded special award for Strategic Contribution for the year 2012 by the then Defence Minister.

On Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also gave away awards to DRDO scientists for outstanding contributions in various categories during the function. The awards include DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award – 2018 to Mr. N V Kadam for his contributions for developing control and guidance schemes for missiles. Excellence awards were given to academia and industry for technology absorption. Besides, individual awards, team awards, technology spin-off awards, techno managerial awards and awards in other categories were also given.

Complimenting the DRDO scientists for their outstanding work in developing defence systems, Raksha Mantri said that DRDO has been developing high level technologies for defence systems for increasing the capacity and capability of armed forces. Rajnath Singh lauded the role of DRDO scientists in combating COVID-19 pandemic. He congratulated all the scientists who received the awards and wished them the very best for their future endeavours.

Speaking on the occasion, MoS Defence Shripad Naik said that DRDO is playing an important role in self-reliance of Defence. He appreciated the efforts of DRDO towards development of technologies and products for combating Covid-19.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat in his address congratulated the scientific fraternity for their achievements and emphasised on the need of working at the fast pace so that the country will have most of the indigenous systems. The development of these high technology systems has led to higher self-reliance in Defence technologies. These three systems which have completed the design and development cycles and are being deployed were handed over to the services.


Rajnath Singh handed over three indigenously developed Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) systems to Army, Navy and Air Force at a function held in DRDO Bhawan. Rajnath Singh handed over the Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS) to the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, ASTRA Mk-I Missile to Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and Border Surveillance System (BOSS) to the Chief of Army Staff General M.M. Naravane. The handing over of these products was done in the presence of Shripad Yesso Naik, the Guest of Honour and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.

Among the systems handed over was BOSS. An all-weather electronic surveillance system successfully designed and developed by Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun. The system has been deployed at Ladakh border area for day and night surveillance. The system facilitates monitoring and surveillance by automatically detecting the intrusions in harsh high-altitude sub-zero temperature areas with remote operation capability. The system is being produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Machlipatnam.

The IMSAS is state-of-the-art, fully indigenous, high performance intelligent software system that provide Global Maritime Situational Picture, Marine planning tools and Analytical capabilities to Indian Navy. The system provides Maritime Operational Picture from Naval HQ to each individual ship in sea to enable Naval Command and control (C2).

Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru and Indian Navy has jointly conceptualised and developed the product and the BEL, Bengaluru has implemented it. The ASTRA Mk-I is the indigenously developed first Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, which can be launched from Sukhoi-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Mig-29 and Mig-29K. Globally, very few countries have expertise and capabilities to design and produce this class of weapon system. Successful development of ASTRA weapon system by Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) Hyderabad & production by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad is a major contribution towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Secretary, DDR&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy stated that DRDO is committed to the development of advanced systems and technologies for Defence. He added that DRDO strives to create robust ecosystem of Defense design, development and production along with academia, industry and armed forces.

Several senior functionaries from Ministry of Defence and Government of India were present at the function.

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