A lot of technologies have been developed to deal with the extreme cold weather in the country's northern mountains and the armed forces are using all of them, DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy said on Thursday. These range from technologies developed for clothing for the armed forces to predicting avalanches, he said during a webinar organised by the India Foundation.
To a question on whether the armed forces are prepared to deal with the harsh winter as more troops are being moved to Ladakh amid the border tensions there, Reddy said, "In the northern mountain region…about the snow and all that… lot of technologies have been developed towards that, whether the clothing that is required, the shoes which are required, or the heating elements which are required, things related to heating of food. "Many things have been developed, including avalanche and snow prediction. Many things which are required for that have been developed in the country and they are all being used by the armed forces today," the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman said.
The Ladakh region witnesses extreme cold weather and during the winters, temperatures fall far below the freezing point. Tensions have escalated in the Pangong lake area after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy certain Indian areas in the southern bank of the lake. India has rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region. On Monday, the Indian army said the Chinese military carried out "provocative military movements" to "unilaterally" change the status quo on the southern bank of Pangong lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30 but the attempt was thwarted by the Indian troops.
In the Galwan Valley clash between the armies of India and China in June, 20 Indian army personnel including a colonel were killed. China has not yet released any casualty figures. Since the clashes, tensions are on the rise on the northern border along China. Reddy said to attract young minds, the DRDO is also working with technical education departments and students have been given electives in the B.Tech courses. He said a lot of colleges in the country will also have defence related courses. Similarly, we have brought in certified courses through our academic institute in Pune DIAT (Defence Institute of Advance Technology) where a lot of people are getting trained in Artificial Intelligence and cyber technologies.
Every year, 1,000 people in each area will be trained, he said. We are also trying to take youngsters in DRDO in a big way, Reddy added. If the country wants to transform itself from an arms importer to exporter, the industry has to come forward, he stressed. The industry cannot sustain for long by just supplying it to our own armed forces. They have to export. If you have to sustain for 10-15 years, then you need to supply the world. Your systems have to be state of the art. You should have a sustained quality of the product. The cost of the system has to be low, he added.