New Delhi: Defending his decision to terminate the contract of DRDO chief, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said Avinash Chander was appointed in a “strange manner” and he feels that at the age of 64, a person probably thinks in more of a cautious way.
He said the scientific world today requires probably a much younger generation to deliver. Asked about the termination of the contract, the minister shot back saying, “Let me be very clear. Are you aware that the appointment was in a very strange manner?” Explaining the “strange circumstances”, he said that in May 2013, the then government gave Chander a three-year posting with the condition that after he retires, he will automatically be on contract with same powers.
“I think this is a call point which I need to have taken and I took the call point. Nothing beyond that,” he said, adding that he was not raising a question mark on Chander's capability.
“I am not ready to do that because I had too small a tenure with him. I thought that at 64, a person probably thinks in more of a cautious way,” he said. Asked what can be expected from him with regard to the DRDO, he said scientific world today requires probably a much younger generation to deliver.
“Let me say age will be on favourable side,” he said. The sudden termination of Chander's contract on January 13 night with effect from January 31 triggered a controversy. He had retired on November 30 last on attaining the age of 64 years and was given a contract for 18 months till May 31 next year.
The government has not named his successor yet but Parrikar has said the senior-most person of the cluster head will hold the post temporarily.
The government is contemplating to bifurcate the portfolio of DRDO chief as well as Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, which at present rests with a single person.