After Sacking, Business as Usual for Avinash Chander at DRDO

Avinash Chander was removed as chief of India's defence research organisation on Tuesday. (File photo, courtesy AFP)

New Delhi: A day after he was sacked, it was, strangely, work as usual for Dr Avinash Chander.

Not only did he attend each and every scheduled meeting, he made it clear that he would not be distracted by reports that he was no longer needed until he received a formal copy of the government notice, uploaded on the Department of Personnel and Training website.

Dr Chander was not in denial. Sources close to him said that he was only doing his job and would continue to do so until his contract ended.
This is the way Dr Chander has operated for more than four decades in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), buried in work. 

And while the decision to shake up the functioning of DRDO is very much the need to the hour - given  this government's focus on indigenous manufacturing - no one is questioning Dr Chander for his personal contribution over the years.

An Electrical Engineer from IIT Delhi, Dr Chander has been the Chief Architect of the Agni series of ballistic missile systems. He did pioneering research in inertial navigation and guidance systems, focusing on the use of solid fuels as propulsion for our missiles. 

According to the DRDO, Under Dr Avinash Chander's leadership, "The organisation carried out extensive research and indigenously developed the critical technologies like Composite Rocket Motors, Re-entry Carbon Composite Heat Shield, Advanced High Accuracy Navigation Systems, Flex Nozzle Control System, High-end Real-time Computing Techniques, Advanced Navigation Systems, Onboard Computers, and Servo Valves and Seekers. Mr Chander also laid the technology roadmap for Missile Complex Laboratories."

But very few of these cutting edge technologies can be commercially procured and in-house research and development is the only way to imbibe these systems. 

India's Integrated Missile Programme has been a resounding success with the Agni missiles giving the country a credible nuclear deterrence. As a scientist and team leader, Dr Avinash Chander has achieved significant success in his work.

Dr Chander's contract ends on January 31, 2015. He had joined the organisation in 1972.