National

DRDO chief was removed to bring in younger generation: Parrikar

Seeking to downplay the controversy over sudden sacking of Avinash Chander as chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that he had recommended that the top position should be held by someone from a "slightly younger generation" and not by someone who was on contract.

"Such senior positions should not be on contract. There are so many eligible persons, we will find someone good from the DRDO, senior most person of a cluster head will head the organisation," Mr. Parrikar told journalists here.

He maintained that there was no controversy in as Dr. Chander’s tenure had ended in November last and was extended on contractual basis due to the previous government’s decision.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had on Tuesday "approved the termination of the contract" of Dr. Chander with effect from January 31.

He was also Secretary, Defence Research and Development and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister. Dr. Chander had retired on November 30 last year, on attaining 64 years of age and was given a contract for 18 months till May 31 next year.

Dr. Chander was the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems.

However, the government action was questioned by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh who tweeted: "Avinash Chander DRDO Chief dismissed 15 months before his term expired. Would Government please explain?"

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:08:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/drdo-chief-was-removed-to-bring-in-younger-generation-parrikar/article6788767.ece

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