INTERVIEW: Nambi Narayan debunks Congress’ claim of salary delays in ISRO

Opposition Congress had claimed that ISRO scientists had not received salaries for the last 17 months

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated: 28 August, 2023 3:29 pm IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ace scientist Nambi Narayanan, the protagonist of Bollywood film ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’, has trashed claims that employees of ISRO – the Indian space agency that launched Chandrayaan-3 – were not getting their salaries on time under the Modi government.

In an exclusive conversation with The New Indian, Narayanan – who fought a 25-year-long legal battle to prove himself innocent against charges of espionage – the allegations of the Central government withholding salaries did not hold “even an iota of truth”.

“It is news to me. If someone makes such an allegation, they should provide specific details as to which department faces this issue. As far as my knowledge – based on my conversations with my colleagues in ISRO –is concerned, they (claims) don’t hold even an iota of truth,” he said in an interview at his residence in Injakkal, Thiruvananthapuram.

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He continued: “I myself am a beneficiary of ISRO as a pensioner. My pension is credited to my bank account on the 29th of every month.”

Narayanan is remembered for his immense contribution to the development of the Vikas rocket engine used in the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). He was briefly in charge of the cryogenics division at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, in March 2019.

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On August 23, senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh minister Digvijaya Singh claimed that ISRO scientists had not received their salary in 17 months and sought PM Narendra Modi’s attention towards the issue.

“We are proud that ISRO scientists are making an effort for the successful lunar landing of Chandrayaan-3. We pray to the Almighty for their success. But there are reports in newspapers that the scientists who made this happen have not received their salaries for the past 17 months. The prime minister should take note of this too,” he had said.

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