The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Awards, in their present form, were introduced in 1999 to motivate DRDO scientists, engineers and the organisation’s partners in industries and academic institutions, to contribute towards the cause of national security and self-reliance.

The award scheme has various categories—from the lifetime achievement award to awards recognising DRDO’s laboratories.

This year, the DRDO Awards were jointly conducted for the years 2016 and 2017 and were presented by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on May 14, on the occasion of National Technology Day.

The ARJUN Tank-2 DRDO Awards to Two Chennai Scientists

As reported in the Times of India, P Sivakumar, a distinguished scientist and the Director of Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), won the award for Technology Leadership (2017) for his significant contribution to the development and design of transmission systems for armoured vehicles.

He was also involved in the design, development, manufacturing, test evaluation, user trails and technology transfer and induction of the iconic Arjun MBT Mk-I tank.

The publication also reported that YST Raju of CVRDE won the Scientist of the Year (2016) award, for his substantial contribution to the development of multi-disciplinary engineering subsystems of the Integrated Fire Control System for the Arjun MBT Mk-II prototype, trials of MBT Mk-I, development of an electric turret drive and gun drive hardware for futuristic AFVs, and retractable landing gear for UAV Rustom-II.

The Arjun MBT Mk-I tank is a 1400 hp main battle tank developed by the DRDO, for the Indian Army. It is integrated with an Indian turbocharger and epicyclic train gearbox with four forward and two reverse gears.


A Ministry of Defence press release reported that the Arjun exhibited excellent performance under various circumstances, such as driving cross-country over rugged sand dunes, detecting, observing and quickly engaging targets, and accurately hitting targets—both stationary and moving—with pinpoint accuracy.

Additionally, Arjun displays accurate and quick target acquisition both during the day and night missions—in all types of weather! It also has a very short possible reaction time during combat engagements.

The Arjun MBT Mk-I tank is a pioneer amongst defence vehicles and the two Chennai scientists P Sivakumar and Raju, deserve to be recognised for their work!