India SciTech

Proposal to appoint Pawan Kumar Goenka as Chairperson of In-SPACe cleared by ACC

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Lalit Shastri

The Narendra Modi led NDA Government at the Centre means business and this gets amply demonstrated by the approval given on Tuesday 7 September by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet to the proposal for appointment of Chairperson and Members of the Board of Indian National Space Promotion Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe).

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It is learnt that the competent authority – Appointments Committee of the Cabinet – has approved the proposal to appoint Pawan Kumar Goenka as Chairperson of In-Space.

Goenka is a technocrat. On retirement as Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra Limited he has recently joined Bosch Limited, a German company, as independent Director

A BTech in mechanical engineering from I.I.T. Kanpur and PhD from Cornell University, US, Goenka has worked at General Motors R&D Centre in Detroit, U.S., from 1979 to 1993. Thereafter he joined Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., as general manager (R&D). Goenka joined Mahindra in October 1993 as the general manager, R&D. He was appointed as the chief operating officer for the automotive sector in April 2003. In September 2005, he became the president of the automotive sector and by April 2010 he was the president of the automotive and farm equipment sectors. “He was appointed to the post of Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra in 2013 and in April 2014, he took over the additional responsibility of the two wheeler business. In Nov 2016 Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka was elevated to the post of Managing Director of M&M (information courtesy wikipedia).

The ACC decision to approve the proposal to appoint a distinguished technocrat as head of IN-SPACe seems to be motivated by Government of India’s commitment to address the issue of leadership deficit in ISRO that has surfaced in recent past especially in terms of carrying forward India’s space programme, and give the necessary thrust and momentum to the task of implementing reforms in the Space sector by boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.

According to available input, the formal information note from the Department of personnel and training issued on Tuesday 7 September (No.22/12/2021–EO(SM-II) regarding the ACC’s approval to the proposal for appointment of Chairperson and Members of the Board of Indian National Space Promotion Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) had reached the ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Now the Secretary Department of Space/Chairman ISRO only has to complete the formality of signing on the dotted line. It is being said in knowledgeable circles that Dr Goenka, once he takes over as Chairperson IN-SPACe, would report only to Secretary Department of Space if that post is held by someone at the level of the Cabinet Secretary. The inference now being drawn is that the appointment of a senior IAS officer as Secretary Department of Space and Chairman Space Commission cannot be ruled out.

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