The government on Tuesday sacked Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander, putting up the exit order on the Department of Personnel and Training website even before informing him.
DRDO chief Avinash Chander was removed from his post 16 monthe before his contract was to end.
The appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC) approved the termination of Chander’s contract with effect from January 31. The reasons for Chander’s unceremonious exit could not be immediately ascertained but the DRDO had in August come in for sharp criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over delays and cost overruns in key military programmes.
As chief of India’s premier defence research agency, Chander also held the posts of scientific adviser to the defence minister and secretary, department of defence R&D. He is credited with shaping India’s strategic missile programme.
For records, the DRDO was set up in 1958 to develop indigenous military technology and cut back on arms imports. But India holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest weapons importer, sourcing 70% of its defence requirements from abroad.
A search panel headed by the cabinet secretary will pick Chander’s replacement from among top DRDO scientists.