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2 % IITians and NITians become Isro’s Engineers

Isro may be making great strides in space, but when it comes to attracting graduates from premier institutes like IIT, it has a long way to go. Details gathered through an RTI application show that only 2% employees of Indian Space Research Institute (Isro) are graduates from IITs or NITs.

With satellite launches and interplanetary exploration increasingly becoming as commercial as scientific, Isro will need products of premier institutes. "But this is not a trend that affects only Isro," says V Adimurthy, senior advisor of interplanetary mission at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. Other sectors like roadways and railways too don't attract them," says the IIT-Kanpur alumnus.

Moreover, Isro's centralized recruitment system doesn't differentiate between an IIT graduate and one from another engineering college. "We look for strength in fundamentals, wherever the person is from. It is essential to have people from different institutions."

Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan sees a silver lining in Isro's Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IISST), Thiruvananthapuram. Since its inauguration in 2007, the institute has been getting toppers as applicants. "We have been getting some brilliant students who I am sure would go on to become big scientists in Isro," says Radhakrishnan.

But given the trickle of IITians and NITians, academics feel Isro should collaborate with educational institutions to initiate and attract the best of talent from other campuses.

"Collaborative research with colleges other than IITs and NITs have deepened engagement with students and made students aspire for a nationalist career at ISRO," says Vaidhyasubramaniam S, dean, planning and development, SASTRA University. Pramod Prasad, a 2008 electronics and communication graduate from SASTRA was a part of Mars Orbiter Mission.

Photo via Isro's Mars Orbiter Mission on Facebook

Academics agree that most of the IITians and NITians look for fat-paying jobs in software and technology companies. "Going abroad and earning high are the priorities," says a senior academician of a deemed university. But this could change, feels former Isro chairman U R Rao.

"Achievements like the Mars Orbiter Mission would attract graduates to Isro. You need passion to work in Isro. That's why people who join the organisation seldom leave it for another job.
2 % IITians and NITians become Isro’s Engineers 2 % IITians and NITians become Isro’s Engineers Reviewed by RishavSen Choudhury on 8:22:00 PM Rating: 5

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