|Chander, Tessy Thomas, others|
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved termination of contract of Avinash Chander, director general of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and scientific adviser to defence minister with effect from January 31, 2015. According to a Times of India report, Chander was clueless when the order came out, but he said, the missile programme was his biggest achievement.
A graduate in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, Chander joined DRDO in 1972. He was the architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems in India. Currently, Agni 1, 2, and 3 missiles are considered major inventories of the Indian Armed Forces.
Awarded with Padma Shri, Chander, a distinguished scientist, also received a number of other awards including Rocketry and Related Technologies Award (1997) by the Astronautical Society of India, DRDO Scientist of the Year Award (1989), Agni Award for Excellence in Self-Reliance (1999), Dr Biren Roy Space Science and Design Award (2000), DRDO Award for Path Breaking Research and Outstanding Technology Development (2007), Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT (2011), Delhi, just to name a few.
But Chander’s termination of contracts almost 16 months ahead of the end of his tenure, is believed to be driven by the NDA government’s plan to reform the DRDO and remove greying scientists. Chander was reportedly unwilling to carry out drastic changes of the organisation that was formed way back in 1958. The organisation has now a network of 52 laboratories and has over 5,000 scientists belonging to Defence Research and Development Service (DRDS).
Like Chander, present defence minister Manohar Parrikar is also an alumnus of IIT. Parrikar graduated from IIT Bombay in the year 1978.