Former Indian Space Research Organisation chief G Madhavan Nair has expressed his unhappiness over top scientist Roddam Narasimha's decision to resign.
Narasimha announced his resignation from ISRO in protest against the blacklisting of Nair and three other scientists over the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.
Talking to reporters, Nair said he hoped the respective authorities would be able to convince Narasimha to stay on.
"It is quite unfortunate that such an eminent specialist in the aerospace arena -- and he is not only a national asset but of an international reputation -- is virtually forced to resign from the Space Commission by the actions of the Department of Space. I strongly feel that this should not happen and the country needs Narasimha's services in the future also. I hope the authorities will persuade him to stay on with the Space Commission," he added.
Nair further said that the government's actions against the scientists would send out a negative message to the scientific community.
"I think the entire scientific community has understood what the real issues are and it is not that they are trying to show some personal favours to me. They are all upset because it is a wrong message to the scientific community. If science and technology has to flourish in the country, there has to be freedom and delegation of powers unto scientists. Myself and my colleagues have exercised those powers very diligently and we have not made any mistakes whatsoever and this is confirmed by the Chaturvedi Committee as well as Narasimha," said Nair
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prakash Javadekar condemned the manner in which the government was treating the nation's intellectuals.
"This is not the way to deal with your intellectuals. This is not the way to deal with your scientists and when the committee, which was appointed by the PMO, has not given that type of recommendation and if the government is doing it just to shield themselves, we would condemn the government approach and we fully sympathise with the scientific community because their honour and prestige is very important for nation building," Javadekar said.
The Devas deal signed by ISRO's commercial arm Antrix to lease out 90 per cent of transponders in the S-band frequency on two ISRO satellites was annulled by the government in February 2011.
A two-member committee consisting of former cabinet secretary B N Chaturvedi and Space Commission member Roddam Narasimha analysed the deal and found procedural lapses by ISRO officials in the signing of the agreement and sought reforms to prevent future lapses.
A second committee headed by former chief vigilance commissioner Pratyush Sinha, set up after the Chaturvedi report to fix responsibility for the lapses, said that there was suspicion of collusion of officials and lack of transparency in the deal and recommended action against former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair and three other retired space scientists A Bhaskaranarayana, K R Sridhara Murthi and K N Shankara.