South Asia and Beyond

Masks, Sanitisers, PPE Kits, Ventilators—DRDO Turns New Leaf In Times Of Covid-19

NEW DELHI: In times of the Chinese virus, India’s premier defence R&D agency DRDO has gone beyond its brief, coming up with innovations that can equip the nation in its fight against Covid-19. From making sanitisers and masks to personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and ventilators, the agency is doing it all. And to ramp up production, the formulae have been shared with various industries across the country, DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy tells StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale. Soon after the virus struck India, the agency started making sanitisers—nearly 2-3 lakh litres have so far been made and distributed in various parts of the country by DRDO’s 15-20 labs. DRDE, the lab in Gwalior that specialises in life sciences, has made three types of PPE kits that have been thoroughly tested and the technology has already been shared with seven industries for bulk production. The lab, which also tests PPE kits procured from abroad, has been shifted to New Delhi so that logistical wrinkles are ironed out. Over 500 scientists associated with the lab have been working around the clock, says Dr Reddy. Watch the interview for more.

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Left to himself, Nitin A. Gokhale would rather watch films and sports matches but his day job as a media entrepreneur, communications specialist, analyst and author, leaves him little time to indulge in his primary interests. Gokhale in fact started his career in journalism in 1983 as a sports reporter. Since then he has, in the past 41 years, traversed the entire spectrum across print, broadcast and digital space. One of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Gokhale has moved on from conventional media to become an independent media entrepreneur running three niche digital platforms—BharatShakti, StratNewsGlobal and Interstellar—besides undertaking consultancy and training workshops in communications for military institutions, corporates and individuals. Now better known for his conflict coverage and strategic analyses, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years between 1983 and 2006, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 and also brought us live coverage from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009.    An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, Australia, South and South-East Asia to take part in various seminars and conferences. Gokhale is also a popular visiting faculty at India’s Defence Services Staff College, the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the IB’s intelligence school.