Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Amid rumours of dismissal, DRDO chief denies knowledge. No confirmation yet from government


By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 14 Jan 2015

With the media citing top government sources in reporting the termination of employment of the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) chief, Dr Avinash Chander, the man in the eye of the storm says he has received no official intimation of a removal.

On November 28, 2014, Chander had been given an 18-month extension to allow him to head DRDO till May 31, 2016.

Earlier, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had appointed Chander for a three-year term, starting from June 1, 2013, though he had already been given two extensions of service.

Speaking to Business Standard on Tuesday, Chander stated that he had not been informed about any change in his contract.

“I am also hearing about this in the media. However, neither the DRDO, nor I personally have received any intimation of my contract termination”, said Chander.

Defence ministry spokesperson, Sitanshu Kar, also stated that he had no knowledge of any such decision.

Rumours about the DRDO chief’s likely removal have swirled since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government took charge in May.

At that time, it was widely reported that Chander’s employment would be terminated on November 30, 2014, when he would reach the age of superannuation, i.e. 65 years.

Expectation of change was further fuelled on Modi’s first visit to the DRDO on August 20, when he publicly criticised the DRDO’s “chalta hai” (anything goes) attitude, and suggested that the DRDO should empower younger scientists.

However, that expectation was belied in November, when Chander was given an 18-month contract to continue till May 2016.

Top government sources confirm to Business Standard that there was no pending investigation or charge sheet against Chander.

Chander, a missile guidance expert, is one of the DRDO’s most accomplished scientists and a key member of the core team of APJ Abdul Kalam.

As Director of the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, Chander played a key role in evolving the Agni from a 1,500-kilometre missile that was of practical use only against Pakistan (targets in China are all beyond this range) to a 3,500 kilometre range missile that was India’s first viable deterrent against China.

In 2013, as the chief controller of the DRDO’s missile programme, Chander oversaw the development of the 5,000-kilometre Agni-5 missile and the K-15 submarine launched ballistic missile. 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Defence of Country only and solely by missiles and let everything else go to hell "

That is what Avinash Chandar the politician and media manipulator is all about

Anonymous said...

IF TRUE AVERY DISTASTEFULL, STUPID AND A DANGEROUS THING DONE BY THE BJP GOVT AT THE BEHEST OF IAS BABUS WHO ESPECIALLY THOSE SITTING AS JOINT , ADDITIONAL AND FULL SECRRATARIES IN MOD SHOULD HAVE BEEN SACKED FOR THE SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS OF THE ARMED FORCES .ONE OF THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED DEFENCE SCIENTIST DESIGNER HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRACEFULLY RETIRED . THE DANGEROUS PRECEDENCE OF SACKING SERVICE CHIEFS , DRDO HEAD IS FRAUGHT WITH DANGERS , THE CLEVER BABUS SITTING IN WARM CHAIRS NEED TO BE MADE RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE AND NOT PROFESSIONALS WHO PERFORM WITH ALL THE TRAPS LAID BY THESE WICKED FILEPUSHERS .

G Karthikeyan said...

There is a difference between individual competance and having the requisite techno-managerial skills to lead an organisation such as DRDO. Dr Chander was expected to move with speed to usher in changes, sack many non performers at the top level and transform DRDO. May be, in the Govt's perception, he was not upto mark on that. Often, the leader gets credit, because of the excellent team he has. May be, there are greater things in store for him..We wish him well..

Anonymous said...

MoD is... MoD... after all... be it under... saint... swamy... ,,,...

Axe said...

I am sure there are many more Avinash Chandlers in the DRDO who will give their best in the advancement of military technology.
Avinash Chandler's contract was extended by Modi and the new Defence Minister has decided that he wants fresher blood. So be it.

Jai Mehta said...

Disgraceful decision by the BJP Govt. Modi is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks throwing his weight around on issues he barely understands is the key to good policy. This is one of the problems with the current Govt, very little administrative experience and what does exist is about managing low technology PSUs operating under the state Govt. Unfortunately, that lack of experience and authoritarian behaviour with Govt structures is a disaster at the central level. There was no need to humiliate a respected scientist in this manner after his decades of service to the Republic of India. Arms agents and vested interests (in which I must sadly include a few rtd services professionals, including a pompous self promoter who is now sitting at HAL) also long lobbied to hit out at DRDO for being a hindrance for their more dubious deals which cost the exchequer a pretty packet, such as the T-90 and now the MMRCA. That lobby is also now chuckling since the current GOI has fallen into the trap. Sadly Modi seems to be making the same mistakes as many parvenus who think they have absolute power.

Anonymous said...

A shortsighted and hasteful decision by the GoI. It is understandable that a younger chief is preferable, but this is a very simplistic reason to remove a top scientist with a known pedigree, who has been quite successful, especially recently. There appears to no replacement in sight, suggesting a whimsical decision. Signs of autocratic rule by Modi and company can be seen here. The occupancy of the DM also appears to have gotten into Parrikar's head, that has made him over-enthusiastic.

Anonymous said...

THE PM AND DEFENCE MINSTER MUST BREAK THE KERALITE , TAMILIAN , PUNJABI , UP AND BIHARI LOBBIES SITTING IN MOD AND PLAYING HAVOC WITH THE NATIONS ARMED FORCES AND SCIENTIST COMMUNITY

captainjohann said...

Government has every right to sack the Chief of DRDO but it also must have the guts to tell him why he is being sacked. What is it fears that it takes the press route. Why the government gave extension to him in the first place? Who were responsible? those babus also must be sacked.

Anonymous said...

THERE WAS GREAT NEWS THAT A INDIAN AMERICAN SCIENTIST HAD WON THE EQ OF NOBEL PRIZE IN COMMUNICATIONS . HE WAS CALLED BY THE PMO AND MR MODI MUST HAVE ASKED HIM WHAT WERE THE REASONS OF HIS LEAVING INDIA . THE MAN WAS A EX NDA CADET , A DISTINGUISHED ELCTRICAL OFFICER WHO WAS THE FATHER OF THE APSOH SONAR OF NAVY AND SET UP THE ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENC LAB OF DRDO AND WORKED ON THE LCA PROJECT . HE DIDNOT WANT TO GIVE UP HIS PROUD NAVAL UNIFORM AND HAD TO LEAVE DRDO FOR GREENER PASTURES TO STANFORD DESPITE HIS OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT AND EVEN SIDELINED BY THE NAVY FOR HIGHER RANK OF ADMIRAL .THE DRDO TURKS OF THAT TIME SOME WHO ROSE TO BE DRDO CHIEFS PLAYED A BIG ROLE FOR THEIR PERSONNEL CARREERS AND FORCED DR PAULRAJ TO LEAVE . DOES THE PMO VISIT OF DR PAULRAJ OR THE AMERICAN PRESSURE OF DRDO WORKING ON LONG RANGE MISSILES WITHOUT GOVT SANCTION ARE A FEW REASONS FOR THE UNCERMONIUS OUSTER OF DRDO CHIEF.

Anonymous said...

Word is chander ran afoul of his highness, mr arrogance in chief, at top. parrikar was just the fall guy and took the bullet for his boss who comes up with such brilliant ideas like drdo labs to be headed by under 35s. next he will say director of AIIMs should be 18 year old. tea vendors and their ideas.