Defence Research & Development Service

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Defence Research & Development Service
Service Overview
Emblem of India.svg
Abbreviation D.R.D.S.
Formed 1979
Country  India
Training Grounds DIAT Pune
ITM Mussoorie
Controlling Authority Ministry of Defence
Department of Defence R & D
Legal personality Governmental
Civil Service
General nature Research & Development
Technology Management
Preceding Service Defence Science Service
Cadre Size 7256 members[1]
Service Chief
Secretary, DDR&D and Chairman, DRDO
Current: S. Christopher
Head of the Civil Services
Cabinet Secretary
Current: Pradeep Kumar Sinha

Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) (Hindi: रक्षा अनुसंधान एवं विकास सेवा) is a civil service of the Government of India.[2] DRDS scientists are Gazetted (Group A) defence-civilian officers under the Ministry of Defence. They are responsible for developing new technologies and military hardware for the Indian defence and security forces.


Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) came into existence in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. DRDS was formed in 1979, and a separate Department of Defence Research and Development was created in 1980, which later on administered DRDO and its 52 laboratories/establishments. A senior DRDS scientist was made the Director General of DRDO, Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister of India) and ex officio Secretary of the Department of Defence Research and Development.

However in 2015, the post was bifurcated and the senior DRDS scientist held the post of Director General of DRDO and the Secretary of the Department of Defence Research and Development. And a younger and experienced DRDS scientist was made the Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri (SA to RM).[3] Further in 2015, the post of Director General, DRDO was renamed as Chairman, DRDO.[4]


DRDS scientists are recruited into DRDO by one of the following means:

  • Direct Recruitment through Scientist Entry Test.
  • Transfer of officers from other Group A technical civil services, particularly through the Indian Ordnance Factories Service.
  • Deputation or on Contract of suitable scientists and technologists from other research organisations.
  • Absorption in civilian capacity of technical officers from the Indian Armed Forces.


Being engaged in defence technology research and development, the DRDS scientists have to be abreast with the latest technologies around the world and are trained at the premier Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune. Since the DRDS scientists also have the responsibility of managing the workforce, establishments and projects of DRDO, they are trained in management at the Institute of Technology Management, Mussoorie. They are also educated and trained at the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management, and Indian Institute of Science, other civil and defence academies of India as well as at other foreign universities.[5]


DRDS scientists are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems.


Grade Level in Pay Matrix Initial Pay in Pay Matrix
Scientist 'B' Level 10 56,100/-
Scientist 'C' Level 11 67,700/-
Scientist 'D' Level 12 78,800/-
Scientist 'E' Level 13 1,18,500/-
Scientist 'F' Level 13 A 1,31,100/-
Scientist 'G' Level 14 1,44,200/-
Scientist 'H' (Outstanding Scientist) Level 15 1,82,200/-
Distinguished Scientist (DS) Level 16 2,05,400/-
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO Level 17 2,25,000/-

DRDO follows the merit-based promotion system for its Group A scientists rather than the seniority-based promotion system which is followed by the other civil services of India. The merit-based promotions ensure that only the exceptionally performing scientists are promoted to higher grades irrespective of their seniority and it is common to see a junior scientist superseding his seniors. In 2014, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi also called for reforms at the laboratory level and asked to appoint scientists below the age of 35 to head at least five laboratories and / or establishments out of the fifty-two establishments of DRDO.[6] DRDS scientists can apply for service extension beyond the age of superannuation to ensure continuity of highly critical defence projects.[7]

Notable officers[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "S Christopher is new Director General of DRDO; GS Reddy appointed scientific advisor to Defence Minister". 29 May 2015 – via The Economic Times.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Recruitment and Assessment Centre - RAC, DRDO".
  6. ^ "Need 5 DRDO labs for scientists under 35: Prime Minister Narendra Modi". 20 August 2014.
  7. ^ "37 oldies of Defence Research and Development Organisation cling on to jobs post retirement".
  8. ^ "Why Abdul Kalam was the 'People's President'".

External links[edit]