India to play high priority on biodefense

India's Defense Research and Development Organization has announced that it will place a high priority on the development of systems, including better biological and chemical defense systems, to combat the challenges of terrorism.

Defense Research and Development Organization chief V.K. Saraswat announced the new direction to journalists ahead of the the three-day annual DRDO directors' conference, which is set to occur next week.

The conference, which will be inaugurated by Defense Minister A.K. Antony, will be attended by National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.

The move to develop systems to fight biological and chemical threats as well as other so-called low-intensity conflicts follows a study authored by the DRDO that indicated such conflicts will become the dominant method of waging war over the coming century.

“It will be a concerted program, wherein we will develop armor and communication systems to enable the soldier operate more effectively in a low-intensity conflict scenario," Saraswat told "We already have the capabilities, which were spin-offs of our strategic weapons programs, and stress will be on indigenization.”

Other systems in development include soldier-centric technologies and technologies for nuclear defense as well. Additionally, technologies will be adapted for coastal surveillance as part of this new push.