Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: MoD set to revamp problem-child HAL | Chaturvedi Committee scripting survival mantra for plane-maker| R K Tyagi cleared as chairman, finally | Insiders say wrong choice

Friday, March 2, 2012

MoD set to revamp problem-child HAL | Chaturvedi Committee scripting survival mantra for plane-maker| R K Tyagi cleared as chairman, finally | Insiders say wrong choice

LET THE SMILE LAST FOR EVER: Pawan Hans chief R K Tyagi is said to have taken the divine blessings at Vaishnavi Devi Temple the moment he was told that his file was cleared by PMO, paving way to his dream flight to HAL. Hope he brings some luck to MoD's problem-child HAL, currently drowned in a spate of issues! Will Tyagi's tour operator skills at Pawan Hans come in handy at HAL? Watch this space as we track the man whom the MoD felt is the choice to captain HAL.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Plane-maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) finally got a new chairman in R K Tyagi of Pawan Hans. But the breaking news is that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is revamping HAL with a mission to shape it up to stay in the race. The survival mantra for HAL is being scripted by B K Chaturvedi, former Cabinet Secretary and now Planning Commission member, who leads a power-packed seven-member team. The report is expected to be submitted to MoD by end of March.
“The Chatruvedi panel began its work in October 2011 and has had held two meetings so far with more visits to HAL divisions scheduled this month. The main aim is to strengthen and restructure HAL as the MoD is keen that the company comes out of cost and time over-runs,” sources told Express.
Among the members in the Chaturvedi Committee are: Air Chief Marshal (Retd) F H Major, former IAF Chief; Prakash Apte, former director IIM (Bangalore); Deepak Parekh, chairman HDFC Ltd; Ajay Shanker, former secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and R A Mashelkar, former director general, CSIR. The panel will have two more members in HAL Chairman and Additional Secretary (Defence Production).
With the shortage of skilled manpower in design and manufacturing arena haunting HAL, the revamp team might have to suggest some remedies to retain talent. With the private sector going supersonic with its plane plans, HAL lives dangerously of losing talent to firms offering tempting packages.
Sources say that the only way out to ease work is to get HAL onboard the outsourcing bandwagon. “The committee will suggest ways as to how to join hands with the private sector. HAL can't go on adding manpower and facilities based on new projects. Outsourcing is the key ,” sources said.
On Thursday, the MoD issued orders crowing Tyagi as HAL chief, despite he being not wanted by a majority insiders, as he is an outsider. The Indian Air Force (IAF) too is not a happy lot as it made a strong pitch to take the controls of HAL, with it being the biggest customer of the Defence PSU. HAL-watchers say that Tyagi will be put to a litmus test with his inexperience in commanding a massive organization like HAL and lack of exposure in undertaking multiple projects. He will also have to build bridges with various commands of the Services.
Every Tyagi move will be watched closely with HAL currently running multiple projects, including FGFA, MTA, HPT-40, LUH, LCH, IJT, LCA, AJT and upgrades of Mirage 2000. The Sukhois too will come in for upgrades soon. “A lots need to be fixed on the HR front and the officers are a agitated lot with the scrapping of promotions based on performance. Also, by merely trumpeting on the orderbook (Rs 70,000-plus crore) won't keep HAL afloat,” one of the committee members, said.
Unwanted man? While Tyagi might have managed his way to  the 'lucrative' HAL chairman's post exhibiting outstanding hurdle-clearing skills in  Delhi, it is sure that he is entering a bouncy pitch  that often springs  many surprises. HAL insiders with whom Tyagi might have to run to build a long innings for survival, tell Express that it would take a long time before Tyagi could get a feel of what HAL is all about. "He might run the show as others did, but to answer your query whether he could bring in a change, it is too early to say. We are sure about the areas he is likely to get stuck. He will have to win the hearts of many, considering he is not the man many wanted. Still,  we need to give him a fair chance, before commenting," an HAL director said.   
Bigger Board likely: With disinvestment dreams set to take wings soon, the strength of HAL Board too might go up. Sources say that it is mandatory that HAL has equal number of directors (both from within and external) once the 10 per cent disinvestment plans take shape. HAL has currently nine internal and two external directors and the numbers might go up to 22, with 11 each from both sides. A giant Board too might pose a problem for HAL and the Chatruvedi Committee might be prescribing a pill to make it stay trim.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

For regular updates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/Tarmak007