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How Is The Life Of Engineers/Scientists At DRDO?

Before joining any organization aspirants are always willing to know about the work and life culture of that organization, so to know about life of DRDO i.e Defence Research And Development Organization we are sharing the views of Saba Suhail And Ravi Ranjan, scientist at DRDO.

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Saba Suhail (DRDO) Views

I am a scientist in DRDO. I joined last year right after my college. I hoped to gain experience in core R&D before I do anything else(I had an admission offer from IIM Bangalore which I rejected to work in DRDO).
Initially there is a five month long training in DIAT, Pune. I would say this is the best time of your job in DRDO. The place is serene, the weather is amazing and the course feels exactly as the college, the only difference being you are being paid for it. The training is meticulously framed. You get to do certain amazing courses. You get to travel around a lot. In my case I visited Dehradun, Mussorie, Lonavala, Delhi(my place of posting as well) and Cochin all as part of the course.

After five months, when you get your permanent posting the reality strikes. It all depends on which lab you opted for(the process is meritocratic). The labs in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune are actually doing good work. Some of my friends posted there are working nights day and out. I on the other hand opted for Delhi thinking it would be easier to go home. I won’t comment on what I feel because perspectives and experiences differ. 
But my conclusion overall about work in DRDO has been that it is a matter of chance as well. It’s not only the lab or place which matters the group in which you are placed in your lab also matters and then it’s your attitude. Even if the work is not that great, you with your efforts and interest can make it worthwhile.

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Ravi Ranjan (DRDO) Views

Typical day in the life of an DRDO scientist/engineer depends on the lab/group, in which he/she is posted. Work profile of two mechanical engineer (or any branch of engineering) may be entirely different, even if they are working in same lab. Giving all the details wouldn’t be possible. However, following point may help you in your choice (Based on my experience) ,

  1. You can vaguely classify the work of DRDO as core research work, engineering (development and design) and techno-managerial work. There is good chance that you will be assigned techno-managerial job even if you are interested in Research and Development.
  2. You will be a first class gazetted officer but outside the wall of DRDO life is just like a normal citizen.
  3. Being a government job, work timing is not flexible. You have to adhere to the lab timing.
  4. You will have a great work life balance. Rarely, you have to work after office timing.
  5. Bureaucratic set up is frustrating.
  6. Mostly you will be posted in a city but there are labs which are far from population. After posting, transfer to other lab is rare.
  7. Salary-wise, DRDO can’t compete with the private sector R&D.
  8. You may get a chance to do masters, if you haven’t done already, from a premier institution on the sponsorship.

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