Manohar Parrikar
Manohar ParrikarReuters

Manohar Parrikar, India's Defence Minister on Saturday said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is exploring tie-ups with the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs). The main aim is to collaborate and manufacture defence equipment.

Parrikar said scientists who work in DRDO could also teach at the tech universities. "We can teach, we can select a few scientists who have done top-end research (for teaching),"  Press Trust of India reported.

"We have signed an agreement with DRDO for jet propulsion, which is to be jointly set up with IIT Mumbai and IIT Madras. The total cost of which is about Rs. 160 crore," Parrikar said in Panaji, after the inauguration of the IIT Goa campus in the presence of Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Being an IIT alumni himself, Parrikar said over the next few years, the IITs and DRDO could jointly manufacture weapons and missile technology so that India would be self-sufficient and would not have to rely on imports.

The DRDO labs could be additionally used as summer internship places for the IIT students, he added.

Talking about building indigenous missile technology, he further said:  "We are in the advanced stages of cracking into the technology to make seekers for missiles. With that we will have 95 percent indigenous technology to make missiles. In around two years, India will not have to import the technology to make missiles like it has been doing all this while."

The IIT Goa campus is located in Ponda taluk of the State on Saturday. The inauguration ceremony was witnessed by Goa CM Laxmikant Paresekar, Deputy CM Francis D'Souza, and the South Goa MP Narendra Savoikar, Secretary of education department Virendra Kumar and director of IIT Bombay Prof. Devang Khakker. The new campus will be functional in about 100 days, the Navhind Times, a Goa-based daily reported.