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What prevents ISRO to seek Cabinet approval for more Apex scale posts

Newsroom24x7 Network

What prevents ISRO from seeking a Cabinet sanction for a number of Apex scale posts and promoting all their Center Directors to that scale and then making a fair and equal selection for the post of Chairman? Accelerated pushes are taken care of in the Merit Promotion Scheme in place which rewards outstanding contributions through a process of peer reviews. To manipulate it at the top reeks of favoritism, nepotism and a subversion of laid down procedures. This is what Newsroom24x7 has been highlighting rather than belittling ISRO’s achievements. If the community is so sensitive to criticism, it should have the capacity to introspect when mistakes are done and order mid-course corrections. – Lalit Shastri, Editor-in-Chief, Newsroom24x7

One person with username Balki and email ID ssbalki@hotmail.com has issued a rebuttal to the exclusive news story titled “Decline of ISRO“, published by Newsroom24x7 on the working of ISRO.

We are reproducing the text by Balki. What he wrote is as follows:

Dear Mr Lalit, First of all, kindly note that there is no decline wrt (with respect to) ISRO either in its activities or efficiency. This is the only govt. organisation in India that is up to date technology in bringing benefits to its people, all by itself through indigenisation during the last four decades. Yes, a few actions taken by the present chairman could give a feeling of negativity. I’m sure that you are fed with wrong and malicious info by some at senior level as one of the affected has given an interview to NDTV, if I’m correct. Whomsoever has given has betrayed the organisation through which he or she has grown. Nothing wrong in appointment of any senior as advisor and it should not be seen with a squinted eye. This has happened with many directors in the last two decades, though I don’t want to name anyone. Also please note that the previous chairman’s term couldn’t have been extended as he had crossed 65 and the youngster and smarter seniors had to be given a chance and hence it’s not a blunder. The present chairman is one of the best or the best, I can say as he is very knowledgeable and a simple character. In my opinion, no one should be given extension beyond their superannuation, due to the same reason started above and in this regard, there is nothing wrong wrt previous URSC director’s retirement. The Apex level posts though not available, the capable ones are elevated to shoulder the responsibility for the larger and bigger space missions in the forthcoming years, nothing wrong though I agree that the accelerated pushing could’ve brought in some amount of discontentment among the other scientists which need to be corrected by the present chief.
Your article straight away discredits which is unfair in my opinion. I’d like to see your open response without any favour or support to anyone.

Lalit Shastri¹ (Editor-in-Chief Newsroom24x7) responds:

There was no attempt to run down a great organization based upon the instigation by some disgruntled senior in ISRO.

Newsroom24x7 has always highlighted ISRO’s achievements in the past. However it does not mean blind adulation of whoever is in the driver’s seat, irrespective of what he or she does. There are some factual inaccuracies in your rebuttal.

Newsroom24x7 had filed questions under the RTI many months back and not just at the happening of this incident. Many scientists are in the habit of bending rules to their advantage and in the past events like the Antrix-Devas embarrassment would not have happened if organisations of the stature of ISRO had stuck to their own rules and procedures.

As regards extension for A.S. Kiran Kumar, you may not be aware that the rules for the Chairman were amended during Madhavan Nair’s tenure to make the retirement age as 66 years. I would have appreciated your view point if somebody junior and smart had been made the Chairman. Dr Sivan had crossed 60 years of age and was on an extension. By granting a non-sanctioned apex scale, a myth is sought to be perpetuated that he was already in the Secretary’s scale and that it was not a promotion. The same myth was perpetuated for his two predecessors.

What prevents this august organisation (ISRO) from seeking a Cabinet sanction for say a number of Apex scale posts and promoting all their Center Directors to that scale and then making a fair and equal selection? Accelerated pushes are taken care of in the Merit Promotion Scheme in place which rewards outstanding contributions through a process of peer reviews. To manipulate it at the top reeks of favoritism, nepotism and a subversion of laid down procedures. This is what Newsroom24x7 has been highlighting rather than belittling ISRO’s achievements. If the community is so sensitive to criticism, it should have the capacity to introspect when mistakes are done and order mid-course corrections.

Please see my earlier write-up on What ails ISRO

Also Check: Losing contact with GSAT-6A puts ISRO authorities in dock


¹ Lalit Shastri 

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