By Yatish Yadav / ENS – NEW DELHI 21st September 2012 10:59 AM
In a fresh blow to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has advised initiation of major penalty against two of its scientists.
Acting on a complaint alleging irregularities in appointment and promotion of scientists and based on subsequent investigation by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Defence Ministry, the CVC found Arun Kumar and A K Bansal blameworthy.
“The case has been examined by the commission. On the facts of the case, the commission is in agreement with Ministry of Defence and advises initiation of major penalty proceedings against Dr Arun Kumar, senior scientist, DRDO, and A K Bansal, additional director, Recruitment Assessment Centre,” the CVC office memorandum dated August 23 said.
Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) of the DRDO was set up in July 1985 for the recruitment and promotion of scientists. The RAC is exempted from the purview of Union Public Service Commission.
Sources said the complaint was lodged by a DRDO employee alleging nepotism and lapses in the policy of recruitment and promotion.
It is learnt that the matter was taken up by the defence vigilance based on Defence Minister A K Antony’s directions.
Arun Kumar is currently serving as Director, Personnel – a DRDO department that coordinates recruitment of scientists and appointment of consultants. Kumar was promoted to the grade of an outstanding scientist in 2010. It was alleged that he misused power to induct his daughter in a laboratory functioning under the DRDO, in violation of laid down norms. After examining the probe report, the CVC has also advised the ministry to reconsider the appointment of his daughter.
The DRDO’s image took a beating recently after a secret audit report ordered by Antony unravelled the rot within. Citing various cases, the report claimed that the DRDO’s functioning was not transparent.
Also, no comprehensive database with details of projects sanctioned by the DRDO and how many were declared successful was in place.
The DRDO has a network of 52 laboratories and establishments spread across the country with an annual budget of over Rs 10, 500 crore. Currently, it has over 5,000 scientists and around 25,000 support staff working in several areas of defence technology.