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.

Nitin A. Gokhale

Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, and focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. 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, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale


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