A notification was issued by the government Monday terminating the services of Chander, who has headed the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) since June 2013. Chander, widely known as the man behind the Agni series of missiles, retired from his post on November 30 last year and has since continued on contract.

Basu, who heads the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, is the man behind the nuclear system that is driving the Arihant-class submarines of the Indian Navy.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi "approved the termination" of the contract of Avinash Chander with effect from January 31, an official notification said.

Interestingly, Chander who was Secretary, Defence Research and Development cum Director General, DRDO and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, had retired on November 30 last on attaining 64 years of age and he was given a contract for 18 months till May 31 next year.

The removal of Chander after being given a contract raises questions over the Government action.

Analysts believe that the action could have been taken against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that the 'laid back' attitude in the DRDO will not be tolerated during a visit last year.

Efforts to contact Chander did not fructify as he did not answer the calls made on his phone.

Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. 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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