New Delhi, Jan 14: Nuclear scientist Sekhar Basu is likely to be named the new DRDO chief replacing Avinash Chander, government sources said on Wednesday.
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. [Axe effect on DRDO Chief: Right move, wrong man]
Chander, widely known as the man behind the Agni series of missiles, retired from his post Nov 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.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said there was no controversy in the sacking of Avinash Chander as DRDO chief and it was he who recommended that the position should be held by someone from a "slightly younger generation" and not by someone on contract.
Noting that the tenure of Chander had ended in November, he said it was extended on contractual basis due the previous government's decision.
"At these senior positions, they should not be on contract. There are so many eligible, (someone) should be brought among them," he said.
The Minister maintained that there was no controversy in this decision.
"I had recommended that this position should not be held by a person on contract. We should introduce in scientific world, slightly younger generation," he told reporters outside the North Block.
Asked who will head DRDO, he said the senior-most person of the cluster head will hold the post temporarily.
"We will find out someone good from the DRDO, who has the urge for development," he said.