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Parrikar wanted DRDO chief to go

Parrikar wanted DRDO chief to go

New Delhi: A younger person should replace the DRDO chief, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Tuesday, adding that it was on his recommendation that DRDO chief Avinash Chander's term was ended.

A day after termination of Chander's services was approved, the minister also said there was no "controversy" in the removal.

"I recommended that a person on contract should not be occupying such a senior position. This senior position should be filled by other eligible senior persons. There is no controversy here," Parrikar said Tuesday.

"I believe DRDO should be headed by a younger man... I had proposed for his removal and they have agreed to it."

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the termination of Chander's contract with effect from January 31.

A notification was put up on the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) website, but removed later.

DRDO officials said they did not receive any official information Monday.

Chander, widely known as the man behind the Agni series of missiles, retired Nov 30, 2014, at the age of 64. The government, however, approved that he continue on contract thereafter and the contractual term was to end May 31, 2016.

Chander was the Secretary, Defence Research and Development cum Director General, DRDO, and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister.

Asked if the sudden termination of the DRDO chief without informing him was right, Parrikar said, "I also got the information from you, from paper and TV."

"The tenure of DRDO chief would normally have ended in November but the previous cabinet had approved a three-year extension to his term, with the additional years being on contract," Parrikar told reporters.

The minister added that the post would be filled by someone for now till a permanent replacement was found.

"As of now the person to replace him has not been decided. We will fill the post temporarily by someone who has the urge for development."

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