Reddy also informed Rajnath that the DRDO has restarted a Covid-19 facility in New Delhi and efforts are being made to soon double the number of beds from 250 to 500.
Reddy said that the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital in Patna had been converted to a Covid-19 hospital and it had started functioning with 500 beds.
The DRDO chief said that his organisation was working “on a war footing” to operationalise a 450-bed hospital in Lucknow, 750-bed hospital in Varanasi and 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad.
Singh was holding the virtual meeting to review the readiness of the MoD and the military to deal with the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases across the country. He urged MoD establishments, including defence public sector undertakings, the ordnance factory board and the DRDO to “work on war footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to civil administration/state governments at the earliest”, according to an MoD statement.
He called upon the three services to be in close contact with state governments and to be ready to provide assistance. Singh has also delegated to the military emergency powers of procurement for critical needs.
The DRDO is on a major drive to hand over workable technologies — including for tackling Covid-19, but also regular weaponry and equipment — to private industry for production. On August 24, 2020, the MoD announced that the DRDO had identified 108 defence systems and subsystems for industry to design, develop and manufacture towards achieving “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
DRDO technologies can be transferred to an industry base that consists of 1,800 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), along with big industry in both private and public sectors. It has taken to involving Indian industry as “development-cum-production partners (DcPP), offering its technology to industry at nominal cost and providing free access to its patents,” an MoD release had stated last year on August 24.
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