G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), took charge as the president of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) during the General Assembly of IAA in Daejeon, South Korea, on Monday. Dr. Nair was the vice-president of Scientific Activities of IAA for the last four years. He is the first Indian space expert to be selected as the President of IAA.
The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) with its headquarters in Paris, France, is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space. Although the IAA has many connections to other similar organisations, it is distinctive as the only international academy of elected members in broad area of astronautics and space. It was founded in 1960.
Mr. Nair, who is also working as Secretary, Department of Space of Government of India and president of the Astronautical Society of India (ASI) started his career as Avionics Project Manager in the first Indian launch vehicle project. He was responsible for design, development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). He has held various posts in ISRO. He became Chairman of the organisation in 2003, and has 25 successful missions so far during his tenure. The Government of India has conferred on him the ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1998 and the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2009 and has been awarded honorary Degrees of Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Science by 16 Universities in India.