BANGALORE: The controversy over the Antrix-Devas deal and the recent banning of four senior officials from future government assignments seems to have dented the image of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Speaking to Express, those associated with space and related sectors felt that the ban and subsequent developments have put India’s premier space agency in poor light.
“ISRO was very open before and was one of the few successful stories in India’s aerospace march. The controversy has made people confused and probably not wanting to talk about it anymore,” says a retired senior official of ISRO. He termed the fight between the ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan and his predecessor G Madhavan Nair as tragic. “They were very close to each other and all of a sudden these unfortunate developments came to light. Hope better sense prevails,” he said.
“It is one of India’s pioneering institutions. They should have settled their problems internally. It has caused embarrassment and created doubt in the people’s minds,” said Prof B R Lakshmikantha, Principal of Dayanand Sagar Academy of Technology.
Students of engineering disciplines felt that this controversy could have been handled in a better way. “The way they announced it and then made it seem like a warning to scientists was wrong. It is very demoralizing to people who want to enter space technology,” said Daljeet, a Mechanical Engineering student.
A senior Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) official, felt that the current controversy will have a long-bearing effect on ISRO. “So far, ISRO steered cleared from controversies and this will definitely mar the image. We are saddened that our organisation’s name has been driven to an all-time-low status,” the official, who is currently on deputation, said.