Top Missile Scientist Avinash Chander removed As DRDO Chief

bose

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New Delhi: The government on Tuesday abruptly removed the chief of India's top defence research organization, Avinash Chander, 15 months before his contract was to end.

A cabinet panel on appointments headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the termination of Mr Chander's contract as chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO.

No official reason has been given for the sacking of one of the country's finest missile scientists, often known as the "Agni man" for leading the long-range Agni series missile programme.

Mr Chander is likely to be replaced by Sekhar Basu, the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

His unceremonious exit has stunned scientists, but sources in the government claim it was not entirely unexpected after PM Modi's criticism of what he called the "chalta hai (laid back)" attitude at a DRDO function in August.

"It is not that India lacks the talent pool but I think there is this 'chalta hai' attitude," the Prime Minister had said, adding that the DRDO has to "decide whether it has to respond to the situation" and set the agenda for the world.

Many of DRDO's projects such as the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Nag missile, long-range surface-to-air missile project and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System projects have been delayed by many years and seen several cost overruns.

Mr Chander was seen as the backbone of India's long-range missiles and many believe he has been instrumental in India becoming a missile power against all odds, when it was denied technology and had to face sanctions after its 1998 nuclear test.

Sources say the government wants a younger person to head the DRDO and give it a more dynamic face. Mr Chander in November turned 64, which is the age at which DRDO chiefs retire. His term had been extended till May, 2016.

Dr Basu, who is tipped to take over from him, was instrumental in designing the prototype nuclear reactor for India's nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, which went on sea trials recently

Link: Top Missile Scientist Avinash Chander Sacked As DRDO Chief Without Explanation
 

sayareakd

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Its sad that man like him was sacked like that. He has done so much for country. Hope it is not about postpone missile test.

Interesting to see who will get top post.
BTW now there will be delay in Dr. Chandra project of making nuke response in few hours, rather then day or two at present projet.
 

sorcerer

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The GoI may be having better plans to use such talents.

C'mon , such will keep a precedence that, DRDO should be more professional organization; that an organization that has all privileage to do whatever it wants with the enorumous fund provided to it.

The professionals who work in DRDO wont be shocked when they see such acts action being taken against their counterparts of their caliber by USA or any country in the west, if their chief is sacked for cost over runs and target date reshuffles.

The taken for granted attitude should be kicked at some point.

The GoI will have better plans to use such talents though retired.
 

Compersion

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wish he would be needed elsewhere within the country. he still has a lot to offer.
 

Pulkit

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Who will/can be Chander's replacement ?

The Removal of Chander's sir came as a shock.
The Govt might have some bigger plans for him,but the question now arises is
Who will or who can step in for his post?
The government on Tuesday removed Chief of top defence research organisation Avinash Chander, 15 months before his contract was to end.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi "approved the termination" of the contract of Avinash Chander with effect from January 31, an official notification said.

Interestingly, Chander who was Secretary, Defence Research and Development cum Director General, DRDO and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, had retired on November 30 last on attaining 64 years of age and he was given a contract for 18 months till May 31 next year.



Read more at: DRDO chief sacked within 2 months of new contract : India, News - India Today
 

bose

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Re: Who will/can be Chander's replacement ?

The Removal of Chander's sir came as a shock.
The Govt might have some bigger plans for him,but the question now arises is
Who will or who can step in for his post?
Mr Chander is likely to be replaced by Sekhar Basu, the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
 

Pulkit

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Re: Who will/can be Chander's replacement ?

Mr Chander is likely to be replaced by Sekhar Basu, the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Sekhar Basu, the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is a great leader.
But just my view. Sekhar sir is 62 years of age and I believe government wants to bring someone younger and experienced.

There should be more than one candidate for such an important position.
 

Ray

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Dr Chander, a Jadavpur University alumni, personally maybe a great scientist, but as a Head of the DRDO, it was also incumbent on him to ensure that those who work under him show positive results.

Notwithstanding media and other 'informed' views of all and sundry, except in certain fields, DRDO was not pulling its weight. India cannot afford to import arms, weapons platforms and weaponry. It is a great financial drain. India has to have an indigenous arms development organisation that delivers.

Not everything can be developed in India, but there are many things that can be developed, but red tape and 'chalta hai' attitude is the bane of the DRDO in general since there are also areas where they are doing well for the country.

Accountability must get inbuilt in the DRDO and it should not be taken as a 'safe' govt job with pay, accommodation, perks, health are and an assured pension. Unfortunately, it is taken just to be that.

There has also be a requirement to incorporate Universities, research and development facilities across the country and the private manufacturing sector.

The OFB is another area that requires a shakedown. It has immense slippages and churns out products that would not pass a genuine quality control check.

The practice of handing out contracts to 'small business' and ancillaries for non specialised parts and assembly based on 'social' or political consideration is another bane of the system.

DRDO and OFB can deliver, only if they are shakendown.
 

dastan

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Tbh i am a bit disappointed with the way a man like chander was unceremoniously sacked
 

sayareakd

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Lets hope new guy will deliver on other products and make BMD operational soon.
 

dastan

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Parrikar - "didn't want senior post to held by someone on contract Recommend sacking... need younger scientists as chief"
 

ladder

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Parrikar - "didn't want senior post to held by someone on contract Recommend sacking... need younger scientists as chief"
Then why did the gov. give him the contract in Nov.?
 

Free Karma

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Parrikar explains DRDO chief removal, says 'no controversy' - Hindustan Times

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday that he sent the reccommendation to terminate the services of DRDO chief Avinash Chander 16 months before the end of his tenure. Parrikar said he was of the view that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief's post should be held by a young person and not by someone on contract.

"His (Chander's) tenure ended in November. After that, he was on contract," Parrikar said, adding there was no controversy on the issue. Chander had retired on November 30, 2014, but was to hold charge till his contract expired on May 31, 2016. This was in line with his appointment order issued on May 31, 2013.

The government had even issued an order on November 27 last year saying Chander would "continue to be in operation" for the next 18 months — making his sacking all the more unexpected. The government had put up Chander's exit order Tuesday on the Department of Personnel and Training website even before informing him, triggering speculations.

The appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) approved the termination of Chander's contract with effect from January 31, a good 16 months before it was to end. Strangely, the ACC order was taken off the DoPT website later in the day. Taking up the issue, Congress general Secretary Digvijay Singh said, "Would the government please explain?"

In an exclusive chat, Chander had told HT Tuesday, "I am hearing this from you. It has come as a shock to me. I haven't received any order from the government."

The sacking was first reported by HT on its website.

"It is the government's decision to end my contract but I had no indication this was coming. No idea why it has happened," the 64-year-old had added. The DRDO had in August come in for sharp criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over delays and cost overruns in key military programmes. Modi had said India had the potential to be a world leader in the defence sector but was being held back by a "chalta hai" attitude. In another snub to him, the NDA government had last year turned down a DRDO request for grant of extension to four senior scientists who had attained the age of retirement.

As chief of India's premier defence research agency, Chander also held the posts of scientific adviser to the defence minister and secretary, department of defence R&D. He is credited with shaping India's strategic missile programme.

The DRDO was set up in 1958 to develop indigenous military technology and cut back on arms imports. But India holds the dubious distinction of being the world's largest weapons importer, sourcing 70% of its defence requirements from abroad. A search panel headed by the cabinet secretary will pick Chander's replacement from among top DRDO scientists.
A bit surprising that the press got this information before it could even be officially conveyed to ex-chief, along with a the letter. Seems like someone might have leaked it out. Quite sad when it happens this way...it can really make the person feel awkward.

Centre Sacked DRDO Chief After Critics Lashed Out For Delayed Projects and Cost Over-run - The New Indian Express

In a surprise move, the union government on Tuesday terminated the contractual appointment of DRDO chief Dr. Avinash Chander with effect from January 31.

Though, Avinash Chander had retired on Nov 30, 2014, but was to hold charge on contract till May 31, 2016. DRDO is facing severe criticism of delayed projects and cost over-run.

"The appointments committee of the Cabinet today approved the termination of the contract of Avinash Chander, Secretary Department of Defence Research and Development-cum Director General Defence Research and Development organisation and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister with effect from January 31, 2015,"according to the official order issued from the Secretariat of the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC). ACC is headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources have told Express that Avinash Chander had received the information of government's decision, while he was boarding a flight from Hyderabad to Delhi late afternoon. Though, he will remain in office till the end of the month, but his appointments and scheduled programmes have been cancelled. Officials, who were privy to the development maintained that the Prime minister's office has received series of representation by the young scientists of the DRDO that repeated extensions of the top scientists are blocking the way of promotion prospects. Subsequently, the prime minister's office conducted a discreet probe into the aspect.

In fact, in November, the Modi led government had struck down a request by the DRDO to grant four of its top scientists a service extension to ensure that the organisation does not add to its massive bank of scientists who have been working well past their retirement age.

Chander who was Secretary, Defence Research and Development cum Director General, DRDO and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, had retired on November 30 last year on attaining 64 years of age and he was given a contract for 18 months till May 31 next year(2016). In fact, the then Congress-led UPA government in May 2013, while appointing Avinash Chander as head of DRDO, had stated that "The appointment of Shri Avinash Chander beyond his date of retirement i.e. 30 November, 2014 would be on Contract Basis with the same terms and conditions as he would be entitled to Secretary (DRD) before the date of retirement."

Chander's appointment was made for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge. But surprisingly, the appointment of Avinash Chander as Secretary, DRD was happened while was already in extension of his service 62-64 years.

However, some analysts believe that the action could have been taken against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that the 'laid back' attitude in the DRDO will not be tolerated during a visit last year to the organization. While addressing a DRDO scientists gather in the capital in August last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent out a strong message to it by flaying the 'chalta hai' attitude and had asked the defence research body to complete its projects before time to put India ahead in the world. Several of DRDO's projects such as the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Nag missile, Long-range Surface-to-Air missile project and the Airborne Early Warning and Control System projects have been delayed by many years and seen several cost overruns.

Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Chander is the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems.
 
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Hari Sud

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On a positive note the govt is signalling to babus - "GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER OR BE SACKED"
Precisely, that would be my guess. It is a major signal to babus, services Chiefs, and defence bureacracy that "Chalta Hai" attitude days are over.
 

roma

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wish he would be needed elsewhere within the country. he still has a lot to offer.
Tbh i am a bit disappointed with the way a man like chander was unceremoniously sacked
personally i dont see it as a sacking although the media for their reasons ( to create a "story" ? )
is calling it so -...also maybe once Namo had given a poor report card as far back as august,
then the boss man at Dr Do should have left of his own accord, after all he already had retired.

He should , if he really wants to prove a point do like that Dr Pillai who formed a private company
to develop Brahmos
He can undertake some project and do it better than the new Dr Do management or he can join
Dr Pillai an they can do something great ....its not the end of the world for him
if he really wants to prove a point .

maybe they can even get former prez, Dr. Kallam to join them ?

update 1 :- most media online are critical of Dr. Do but mildly praise the former boss for his
agni successes although they also state it was borrowed from isro.

my view so far; Namo has bungled on this one ...it doesn't look good ...his left arm didnt know
what the right arm was doing ...Parrikar didnt know and had to learn 2nd hand ....doesn't augur well
for management within bjp upper echelons - this wasnt properly done and may take a long time
for the regrettable feeling to go away.
 
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ezsasa

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Such a unceremonious exit is not uncommon in public sector, they are done in cases where govt wants to avoid lobbying for cancellation of such orders. Then again if you look at the order letter all those personal secretaries of ministries are on the list whose appointments were in controversy at the beginning of modi's govt.

I remember an instance where my friend's father who was circle inspector, he was given transfer orders in the Kalyan Mandap during his daughter's marriage.
 
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Bhadra

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personally i dont see it as a sacking although the media for their reasons ( to create a "story" ? )
is calling it so -...also maybe once Namo had given a poor report card as far back as august,
then the boss man at Dr Do should have left of his own accord, after all he already had retired.

He should , if he really wants to prove a point do like that Dr Pillai who formed a private company
to develop Brahmos
He can undertake some project and do it better than the new Dr Do management or he can join
Dr Pillai an they can do something great ....its not the end of the world for him
if he really wants to prove a point .

maybe they can even get former prez, Dr. Kallam to join them ?

update 1 :- most media online are critical of Dr. Do but mildly praise the former boss for his
agni successes although they also state it was borrowed from isro.

my view so far; Namo has bungled on this one ...it doesn't look good ...his left arm didnt know
what the right arm was doing ...Parrikar didnt know and had to learn 2nd hand ....doesn't augur well
for management within bjp upper echelons - this wasnt properly done and may take a long time
for the regrettable feeling to go away.
The man had already retired .. so what is the fuss..
Gave extension to 20 odd senior scientist without asking any one..
even after Modi wanted young shoulder to head some labs..
Lots of complaints against him by senior scientists.. That is what is being reported
Chief of DRDO tends to be bureaucratic rather than a scientist..

The Defence of the country only and solely by missiles - Rest all go to hell. That kind of approach is fraught with danger for the country. Missiles - only agni .. rest all lingering..

Media hunger and penchant for politics should be shunned by an organisation like DRDO ....

There has to be something more also ...
 

archie

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Missile Program was one program where is there is not a single outside interference (Commercial) and ABsolutly no one will market a missile .. The Scientiest were extermly great but other labs have commercial intervension..

In appointments like this public knowledge is only on success or delay not the actual status of the programs or his management style.. I personally think he has already retired.. But i would have hoped that it was managed well by asking him to resigin.. I guess the news leaked before he could have been give an face saver.. All Alumini should be given option to become consultants for Domestic Private firms working on the same sector
 

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