By Pradip R Sagar | Published: 08th October 2017
NEW DELHI: With a dream to work for his country after spending a successful stint overseas, Dr Gausal Ahmed Khan applied for the post of senior scientist in the country’s premier defence research institute—DRDO—in 2009. Eight years down the line, Khan’s dreams were shattered when he was forced to resign in September owing to ‘internal politics’.
Khan, a physiologist, worked on a project to reduce the acclimatisation time of Indian Army personnel stationed at high altitude locations like Siachen. He has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi exposing nepotism, politics, and corruption prevailing in the DRDO. “Unfortunately my scientific temperament and hard work proved to be a disqualification in one of the country’s most reputed organisations—DRDO,” Khan wrote to the PM.
“Bereaved, my broken and humiliated conscience prompted me to write to you and apprise you of the prevalent politics, corruption, and other work conditions in DRDO. I am writing with a hope that in future work condition in DRDO may improve and will prevent scientists from leaving the organisation,” he added.
While disclosing how he was involved in litigation after not given credit for his work, he said, “I spent the last three years in the organisation defending myself in unwanted litigations imposed on me by higher officials due to their politics, personal vengeance, and family lineage.”
Khan got some relief when he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against a disciplinary case imposed on him. The Tribunal in its order stated: “He has been conferred with ‘developing world scientist award’ at international level for his research of unique nature.
Assuming that there are some lapses on the applicant (scientist), the disciplinary authority should have taken a lenient view on account of the excellent scientific research by him which brought laurels not only individually for him but to the country as whole. However, the respondent (DRDO authorities) has not given due credit for his research in the scientific field. This depicts sorry state of affairs. Instead of appreciating his research work, he has been treated shabbily and awarded punishment in gross violation of law”.
When contacted Khan, who is leaving for the US, said, “I came with a vision and a dream. My working conditions forced me to leave. But before leaving, I wanted to apprise the top leaders of the poor work atmosphere. PM talks about self-reliance in defence, but we cannot achieve it unless we weed out corruption and internal politics.”