By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau | 30 May, 2015, 05.44AM IST
NEW DELHI: The government has sent a firm signal against the rampant culture of service extensions at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with the appointment of its new head, S Christopher, who has superseded the top four scientists who are all on their second extension at the country’s premier research body.
While questions are now being raised about the future of the four scientists – who are designated as director generals of different branches at DRDO headquarters and are several years senior in service to Christopher – the government has made its preference for promoting younger scientists clear
When DRDO chief Avinash Chander was removed from his post in January, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that one of the reasons for the change was that the government wanted younger scientists to come up. Going by this principle, the government considered only Christopher and AM Datar for the post, with Christopher making the cut on the basis of seniority, officials said.
While Chander was removed from the job with a terse message from the cabinet secretariat, the future of the four scientists on second extension – which allows them to serve till the age of 64 against the retirement age of 60 – may not be too bright.
The second top appointment at DRDO is also being watched with much interest. The choice of GS Reddy, a missile scientist, to the newly created separate post of Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, is believed to be part of a new deep selection approach to groom talent.