Just like the two previous years 2018 and 2019, exclusive news coverage of ISRO by Newsroom24x7 drew maximum traffic and readers’ interest even during 2020.
Of the 10 most visited pages/new items, which included the Newsroom24x7 Home page that was the top attention grabber, nine are exclusive and analytical reports about ISRO
The news item with the heading Kunhikrishnan will be Chairman IN-SPACe: Stage set for extension to ISRO Chief K.Sivan, ranks on top with as many as 12601 hits.
Through this news item, which projected that the Department of Space, headed by Secretary and Chairman ISRO K. Sivan, had sent the proposal to appoint P Kunhikrishnan as chairman Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), and another related report published on 4 November with the title “Is there a sinister plot to knock out merit in ISRO”, Newsroom24x7 was the first to project, contrary to claims by other media platforms, that Sivan was getting extension.
While underscoring that Kunhikrishnan, third senior most in ISRO, was given apex scale and moved to the Space Commission recently and in this way, he superceded the senior-most distinguished scientist in ISRO (Tapan Misra) after Sivan, who had been denied Apex scale.
The most crucial and exclusive projection through this news item was that the ISRO leadership issue was already settled at the highest level and that it had been decided to give Sivan further extension of 1 year till 14 January 2022.
we said “Sivan has played his cards very well with the PMO. Surely it is game set and match for him. If one were to draw a parallel, we have the case of Kiran Kumar, former Chairman of ISRO, in sharp contrast, he had turned down the offer of extension.”
Our coverage on ISRO that brought maximum visitors to the Newsroom24x7 portal included the following exclusive news items:
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been grappling with attempts to reform Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Many Parliamentary committees have recommended separation of the post of Secretary Department of Space and Chairman ISRO. Perhaps there is no other organisation in Government of India where a subordinate office controls the main department as it happens in the case of Department of space and ISRO.
The seniority of two distinguished ISRO scientists has been bypassed to appoint P. Kunhikrishnan as a Member of the Space Commission.
Kunnikrishnan is Director UR Rao Satellite center. Chandrayaan-2 was made there.
Kunhikrishnan’s appointment order was issued this past Wednesday in a hush-hush manner. Since ISRO chairman K Sivan is on extension and on the verge of retirement, all focus now is on who would be the next ISRO chief. In the normal course, the ISRO chairman should be selected from a panel of the senior-most distinguished scientists within the organisation.
Till now, two distinguished scientists Tapan Misra, Advisor to the ISRO Chairman and S Somnath, Director Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), who have a brilliant track record, were in the reckoning for the top ISRO post. Kunhikrishnan is junior to both of them.
Of late ISRO is abuzz with a lot of rumours regarding the impending extension of the present Chairman and the succession plan in case the Union Government decides on a change of guard. If one goes by media reports, there appears to be a sinister plan to sabotage both merit and seniority by killing two birds with one stone.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal for promotion of Kunhikrishnan P, Distinguished Scientist & Director, U.R. Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru
The latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has indicted the Department of Space and ISRO for failure to operationalise NavIC that was to be operational by December 2011 but had not been made operational even at the end of June 2017 and as a result, navigation and timing services envisaged under the programme could not be provided to the users.
Who created the myth called ISRO and the associated post of Chairman ISRO and why? This is a big question that the Department of Space (DoS) will have to answer in national and larger public interest.