FRL name changed to DIHAR
The change of name of the Laboratory to Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) has been a major milestone in the history of FRL since its establishment in 1962. DIHAR has the core competence in providing nutritional and health security to the troops deployed in ‘L’ sector and is the nodal institute of DRDO for all high altitude related research programme. The institute works in close collaboration with other DRDO Laboratories on high altitude related problems faced by the troops.
Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, established in 1962 at an altitude to 11500 feet in Ladakh, has been working on high altitude agro-animal research programme. Ladakh, is a cold desert with extreme climatic condition with temperature ranging from -40°C to +40°C. The region remains land-locked for 6 months from the rest of the country due to heavy snow fall during winter. Due to strategic location, a large number of troops are being deployed. Meeting the fresh food requirement of the troops in the region has been a major challenge. Defence Institute of High Altitude Research was therefore established with the mandate to carry research program to meet the fresh food requirement of the troops in ‘L’ sector.
The Institute over the years has developed locally suited low cost agro-animal technologies which are well received and adopted by the farmers of Ladakh. At present, the local farmers are using the technologies developed by the Institute and fulfilling 55% of fresh vegetable requirement of troops deployed in ‘L’ sector. Seabuckthorn beverage and DRDO herbal tea, developed by the Laboratory is a successful story of transforming research into commercial products. Both the herbal products has been transferred to several commercial vendors and available in Indian market under brand name of ‘Leh Berry’, ‘Ladakh Berry’, ‘Power Berry’ and Si Berry Tea respectively.
The contribution of the Institute has been well recognized in the region and at national level. DIHAR bagged the prestigious Indra Priyadarshani Vriksha Mitra Award (1993), Titanium Trophy (1997), Defence Technology Spin-off Award (2003 and 2007) for its scientific and societal contribution in the remote cold desert of Himalayas.
In view of fulfilling the mandate of the Institute and for broadening the dimension of its research activities in high altitude, the name of the Laboratory has been changed to Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR). Dr. W Selvamurthy, Distinguished Scientist and CC (LS&HR) inaugurated the change of name of the Laboratory on 5th June, 2008. Corporate Directors and Directors of DARL and DRL were also present on the occasion.