"The President is pleased to retire Dr Avinash Chander, Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development (DOB: 06.11.1950), in the Ministry of Defence from Government Service with effect from 30.11.2014 (AN) on attaining the age of superannuation," an official statement said.
    
It said "the appointment of Chander beyond his date of retirement, November 30, for 18 months would be on contract basis, with the same terms and conditions as he would be entitled to Secretary (DRD) before the date of retirement."
    
His contractual term will end on May 31, 2016.
    
Asked if this was the first time a DRDO chief will go on contract, sources said there had been instances when chiefs have been given "extraordinary" extensions.
    
The DRDO chief also holds the post of Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and the Secretary of Department of Defence Research and Development.
    
Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
    
He obtained MS in Spatial Information Technology from Jawharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad.
    
Chander is the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems.
    
Development of Agni range of missiles under a highly- restrictive international control regimes was possible only out of his technology forecast, perspective planning and relentless efforts, DRDO officials said.

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