Eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao has said the former ISRO Chairman, G. Madhavan Nair’s disparaging remarks on the Mars Mission are unbecoming of a man of his standing.

Mr. Nair dubbed the Rs. 450-crore project a “publicity stunt” and extravagant. Instead, he said, the ISRO should have addressed India’s acute shortage of communication transporters urgently by following the K. Kasturirangan Committee’s recommendations.

Answering a question from journalists here, Prof. Rao, who is head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, said the Rs. 450 crore spent on the mission was “peanuts,” compared with the budgetary allocation for science in China or Japan. “Compared with Japan or China, we do not spend enough on science.” More must be spent on science.

As for the Mars Mission, he said: “They could have taken more time and done more. But that is another argument. We have to appreciate what they have done now.”