|T Suvarna Raju|
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: T Suvarna Raju, has been named as the next chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Currently, the Director (Design & Development) of the Company, Raju was named by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) after conducting the selection interviews in New Delhi on Monday. Raju will succeed R K Tyagi, who will superannuate by the end of January 2015.
Raju will be the 17th chairman of HAL, subject to a series of departmental clearances. Sources told Express that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will take charge now with the Cabinet Secretariat, Home Ministry and finally the Prime Minister's Office expected to give the go-ahead. “After we shortlist a name, it normally takes four months to complete all formalities. We don’t see any delay this time,” a PESB official said.
Raju joined HAL in 1980 as a Management Trainee after completing his Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University. He holds an M.Phil in Defence Strategic Studies from Madras University and also PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from NLSIU. Hailing from Tanuku in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Raju will have a tenure of over three-and-a-half-years as HAL Chairman, from February 2015 to August 2018.
Currently Raju has under his command four major Divisions of HAL, including the Aircraft Research and Development Centre (ARDC), the Mission & Combat System R&D Centre (MSRDC) and the Engine Test Bed R&D Centre (ETBRDC). He also holds the additional charge as the Managing Director of the company’s Helicopter Complex. Programmes like Sitara – the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), Tejas – the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Rudra – the weaponised version of Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv and the Light Combat Helicopter currently come under his preview.
Raju has been selected by the PESB after interviewing four other candidates including S Subrahmanyam, Managing Director (MiG Compelx, HAL), V M Chamola, Director (HR, HAL), Umesh Chandra, Executive Director (BEML) and Air Marshal R K Dhir (MoD).
Speaking to Express on his arrival from Delhi past mid-night, Raju said that his focus will be to turn HAL into an aerospace technology leader. “Currently we are known as a manufacturing company and we need to quickly sink in with the changing times. Technology advancement is the key and I am confident of piloting the company towards achieving excellence in the field,” Raju said.
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