Recruitment scam puts ISRO leadership in dock

Lalit Shastri

There has been gross irregularity in recruiting Secretary DoS & Chairman ISRO Dr K Sivan’s son in Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO, Department of Space, and this has been done throwing established procedures and norms to the wind.

The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), ISRO, Department of Space, Valiamala, Thiruvanthapuram, had issued Advertisement no. LPSC/01/2020 for Post no 738 of Scientist Engineer ‘SC’ { Level 10 (Pay Matrix: ₹56,100 – ₹1,77,500)} at LPSC units located at Valimala Thiruvanthapuram and at Bengaluru.

For post 738, the qualification required as per the advertisement was “B.E/B.Tech or equivalent in Electronics & Communication Engineering + M.E/M.Tech or equivalent in VLSI & Embedded Systems”. Interested candidates were asked to visit the website for detailed information and filling-up on-line application form. The on-line recruitment portal was available from 1400 hrs on 27 October 2020 to 1400 hrs on 9 November 2020.

Siddharth S, the son of Dr. K Sivan, Secretary Department of Space and Chairman ISRO, has been selected for this post. His rank is 2nd in the merit list of the selected candidates.

Among those selected, the first in the order of merit is Lakshmi Prasad and in the 3rd position is Padmaprabha VR.

As per available information, there is no requirement of M Tech VLSI in LPSC and no one has been recruited so far in LPSC with this qualification (Very large-scale integration or VLSI is the process of creating an integrated circuit).

The qualification mentioned in the ISRO advertisement perfectly matched with that of Siddharth S. This gIves rise to the apprehension that the advertisement was tailor-made for a particular candidate.

It is learnt, the LPSC Director was in absolute hurry to fill the post as the retirement of Dr Sivan, the candidate’s father, was due on 14 January 2021 and at that point of time, it was also being anticipated that the Director LPSC could be transferred to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

Question arises why this recruitment was not taken up in the general recruitment through ISRO Central Recruitment Board (ICRB), which follows the process of screening, written test and interview. Accusations are flying as in the present case, only interview was held.

It is also being pointed out that Director LPSC, Dr. V Narayanan is from the same community and also hails from the same village as Dr. Sivan. Under the circumstances, it is not just a matter of conflict of interest in recruitment, but a case of favouritism and conspiracy to benefit the Secretary DoS-cum- Chairman ISRO and his son.

The matter calls for thorough investigation for the sake of probity and accountability in an organisation like ISRO that spearheads India’s Space Programme.

A complaint in this matter has been lodged with the PMO as well as Central Vigilance Commission.


  1. The post of the Chairman ISRO had been headed by so many eminent scientists who command respects in hearts. Dr. Sivan became Dhritrashtra.


  2. Transparency and Equal Opportunity MUST Always be the Guiding Principle for Recruitment. And in Specialised Niche Areas ONLY MERIT SHOULD BE THE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION. Please don’t lower the level.of ISRO. I have proud association with the Organization.


  3. Please note contract personell working in ISRO are treated like vermins here and they take work mercilessly without any leave and rise in salary ,many are working for years they don’t provide employment but take these means for employing their children such criminals shud be exposed. Kindly look into this matter seriously

    Iam withholding my name for safety


    • All eminent senior scientist/ chairman were highly well behaved to public irrespective of any factors, the back door appointed present chairman spoiled total culture of Isro.He must be removed from the chairmanship since he is on extension.


  4. To get good scientists Honorable Kalam’s dream project was Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST). Only due to employment scam in ISRO, after Kalam, 50%of the IISTians are discarded from employment for last 3yrs. Shame to our Gov’t intelligence departments.


  5. From inside of ISRO centers people says
    It will be 100% true, this is not first time. Generally it is regular Practice for in fovour of isro akkas loved ones. For Each posts technician level to all post.
    This time come in light only.
    Even they out ICRB paper to their loved ones on the basis of matrabhumi relations.


  6. I am not surprised. Because, it is common now.
    Last year I attended an interview at National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki (Near Tirupati, AP, India) for a post of Scientist/Engineer SD which is one level higher than the post indicated in the news.
    For that post PhD holders in Physics were called for the interview. But the Director of the facility favoured his own student by violating the recruitment procedure.
    “Yatha Raja Thatha Praja”. Only difference is Raja followed Praja.
    There is no value for merit in India now.
    Recruiters know that people with merit will not tap the doors of CVC or PMO for justice.


  7. ISRO has been headed by eminent personalities such as Prof. Satish Dhawan who always put interest of organisation ahead of person interests. Dr. Sivan has caused irreparable damage to the reputation organisation by his actions and decisions . To name a few 1)Launching of chandrayaan2 lander with minimal/nil testing so as to meet schedule 2)Creation of a new centre HSFC with manpower siphoned from other centres. With double digit manpower, the new centre HSFC is an utter failure with its own identity and orientation crisis 3)Pushing his ‘candidates’ for post of director in SDSC, LPSC and IPRC 4)Shunting of Shri Tapan Mishra and his dismal exit from post of director to a dummy post of advisor 5)Lack of planning for future of ISRO and creation of random agencies with fancy names.
    ISRO has no dearth of competent leaders or talented scientists. Its people like Dr. Sivan who bring down the organisation. His son’s back-door recruitment is a small evil compared to the damage he is doing to the organisation on regular basis. The way things are going, ISRO will be the next organisation which will have similar fate as BSNL in years to come.


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