Avinash Chander, the man behind Agni series of missiles, was on Friday appointed as the new Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director-General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will also hold the post of Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development. He succeeds V. K. Saraswat, whose term ended on Friday.
“I feel honoured to take up this new responsibility. Dr. Saraswat has set DRDO on a good course. I have to continue and take it to the next level,’’ said Dr. Chander.
Dr. Chander, who was recently awarded Padma Shri, was behind the successful development of 5000-km range Agni-V, enabling the nation to join the elite club of five advanced nations. Development of Agni missiles in highly restrictive international control regimes was possible only out of his technology, perspective planning and efforts. He created the infrastructure, industry base, production lines, and integration facilities to produce different classes of Agni missile systems, a DRDO release said here.
Dr. Chander’s pioneering research in innovative energy management guidance system enabled utilisation of solid propulsion, the main thrust and the backbone of the long-range missile system. Under his leadership, DRDO developed critical technologies such as composite rocket motors and advanced high accuracy navigation system. He also laid the technology road map for missile complex laboratories and led the R&D in the advanced navigation systems, onboard computers, servo valves and seekers.
Dr. Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineers.
Y. Mallikarjun reports from Hyderabad:
Dr. Chander told The Hindu before leaving for Delhi DRDO had lot of commitments and among the immediate priorities were the induction of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas by next year-end and of Agni-V in the next two years.
Dr. Chander, who obtained M.S. in Spatial Information Technology from JNTU, Hyderabad, is also Vice-President of the Aeronautical Society of India. He has received numerous awards and honours, including DRDO Scientist of the year and Agni Self-Reliance Award.