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Ex-ISRO scientists slam government, support Nair on Antrix-Devas deal

Bangalore, Sat, 28 Jan 2012 ANI

Bangalore/New Delhi, Jan.28 (ANI): Former colleagues and top scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have criticized the UPA II government alleging ineptitude in the handling of investigations related to the Antrix-Devas deal, and also raised questions about the authority and credibility of the report submitted by current ISRO chairman Dr. K Radhakrishnan.


The Chairman of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Council C.N.R. Rao said: "This minister (V.Narayanasamy) has spoken as if he knows everything. What are they trying to prove? This is no way to treat scientists. It will do no good for an organization like ISRO. I know Madhavan Nair and Sridhar Murthi and the others. They are very good and honest people. It's not as if they have made money."


He added: "I think government should do something to set right these lapses. How can it act on a report given by a committee which has Radhakrishnan as its member? How can he sit in a committee which inquiries about his predecessor? And, how come people who have served an organization for several decades be told that they cannot get posts in future?"


Eminent scientist Dr P.M. Bhargava said: "It is a very sad day for Indian Science. We must know the complete details of the deal and the way the investigation has been done before coming to conclusions."


Former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair had said on Friday that the way he and his erstwhile colleagues had been censored and pilloried reminded him of medieval times when Galileo was imprisoned for his scientific observations.


Narayanasamy, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, has defended the action taken against Nair and three other scientists, adding that the decision was taken to send a strong message to the scientific community that no wrongdoing would be tolerated.


Asked if he was shocked by Narayanasamy's statement, Nair said, "General scientific community should react, not me." But he added, "Scientists have to be given freedom if technology has to grow. In medieval times, you have heard of Galileo put in prison by the King. If Indian scientists have also to be put like this, God save our scientific community in the country."


Galileo, 17th century Italian physicist and astronomer, was found guilty by the church for his observations that the earth revolves around the sun, contradicting the age-old belief that the earth was centre of universe. (ANI)


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