The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) plan to set up a Defense Technology Commission (DTC) is inching closer to reality.

DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat said on Jan. 28 that the DTC — formed along the lines of India’s Space Commission and Atomic Energy Commission — would enable more self-reliance among DRDO labs through better funding and decentralization.

“After a lot of deliberations within the ministry of defense, I can confirm that the DTC is moving in the right direction,” Saraswat says. “Now it is awaiting the Indian government’s nod.”

Speaking during Aero India 2011, Saraswat did not provide any time frame for the DTC to begin operations. The formation of DTC and an export arm of DRDO was first announced in May 2010.

Speaking about next month’s rollout of India’s Embraer-built Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C) aircraft in Brazil, Saraswat says: “The AEW&C is going to be game-changer and it will enable India’s network-centric warfare capabilities. The prime functions of the AEW&C system are sensing the threat scenario, providing early warning to friendly forces and enabling initiation and execution of countermeasures and counterthreats.”

On the recent removal of DRDO from the U.S. Department Of Commerce’s so-called “Entity List” of organizations posing a perceived proliferation risk, Saraswat says that India will still not receive automatic technology transfers. “Relevant dual-use technology required by DRDO might have to get license from the U.S. government,” he says. “Hence, certain critical technology import would still be a distant dream.”