India has released a procurement manual for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in a bid to encourage participation from the local industry.

The move is aligned with the government’s plan to achieve ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, which translates to ‘self-reliant India’, and help in the development of indigenous defence industry.

Specifically, the new DRDO Procurement Manual 2020 (PM-2020) is expected to expedite the execution of research and development projects and programmes.

Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh said: “The new DRDO Procurement Manual will facilitate the indigenous Defence Industry by simplifying the processes and ensure their participation in design and development activities.

“The PM-2020 will help towards realising Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s dream of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.”

The new manual includes several features to accelerate the execution of the projects such as bid security declaration option for earnest money deposit, increase of threshold limit for advance payment and placement of order on lowest bidder 2 (L2) in case L1 withdraws.

It also exempts bid security and performance security up to Rs1m and waives off negotiations for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items/services.

Several other internal procedures were also simplified to enable swift engagement with industry.

The procurement manual was last modified in 2016.

DRDO is the primary military research and development organisation that operates under India’s Ministry of Defence.

Recently, the agency conducted a flight test of locally developed Rustom-2 unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

During the test, the UAV achieved an endurance of around eight hours and flew at an altitude of 16,000ft.