The Defence Research and Development Organisation, India's top defence technology research and development centre, for the first time in its history has appointed a woman as the Director General, Electronics and Communication Systems cluster.

J Manjula an Outstanding Scientist took charge of the office from Dr KD Nayak, who held additional charge as Director General (Electronic and Communication Systems), a statement from DRDO said on Wednesday.

The statement emphasised that Manjula has now become the first woman Director General in the various departments of DRDO. According to The Hindu Business Line, she will be one of the seven DGs in charge of various DRDO clusters. DRDO has nearly 50 national laboratories and Institutes under its wing.

Prior to her appointment as DG Electronic and Communication Systems, she was the head of Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) since July 2014. She also was the first woman director of DARE,  a Bengaluru-based DRDO lab, where her priority was to indigenise the various electronic warfare systems for the Indian Air Force.

An alumna of Osmania University and a practising Electronics and Communications engineer, Manjula had a brief stint in Electronics Corporation of India Ltd before joining DRDO in 1987.

She worked with the Integrated Electronic Warfare cluster of DRDO's Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, (DLRL) Hyderabad, for 26 years.

She has designed several fast signal acquisition receivers, high power RF systems, responsive jammers and controller software for various systems that have been inducted in Army, Navy, Air Force and Paramilitary.

She has vast experience in EW systems design and deployment in wide area network and her specialisation includes configuration of Communication and Radar ESM and ECM systems.

For her accomplishments, she was given the India Today Woman Summit award for 2014. She is also a recipient of DRDO's 'Scientist of the Year 2011' and 'Performance Excellence' awards.