Anna-sambar & the price of ISRO’s moon mission

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Two pieces of news concerning the Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO) caught my eye recently.

Exhibit A: Former ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair was quoted as saying that there were no takers for the voluminous data collected by the moon mission,  Chandrayan, which ultimately failed towards the end of its flight.

“We have a huge volume of data running into several terrabytes. Indian scientists have to wake up and chew on that,” Nair has told Deccan Herald. 80 Indian universities were approached by ISRO to respond to study grants that would have brought in the data analysis experts, but only four universities responded.

“We want to encourage Indian scientists to come forward to work on this, but there is a shortage.”

In other words, there is lots of data but not enough people to digest and analyse it and almost no interest from our so-called “oceans of learning” to get into the act.

Obviously, without meaningful analysis, all the data will be garbage.


Exhibit B: ISRO is planning to spend Rs 1,000 crore to set up a moon simulator laboratory on the outskirts of Bangalore near the new international airport.

“The 1000-crore facility will recreate the moon’s surface on earth which will help in getting a first-hand report of how a lunar rover works,” ISRO’S Chandrayan project director Annadorai has been quoted as saying by Bangalore Mirror.

“We are planning to create a small area which will look like the moon to test the lunar rover. With a simulator in place, it will be easy for us to understand the lunar rover’s path,” D. Sreekumar ISRO’s space astronomy group director says.


Many questions can be asked about both these pieces of news, but here’s just one.

With tur dal shooting beyond Rs 110 per kg, with the agriculture minister and the cabinet having no clue about how to combat rising food prices, with most of indices of health and education hovering at sub-saharan levels, do we need to cotinue with this moon exercise again?

We have made our point by setting out on a moon mission, but should it become our obsession?

US President Barack Obama has realised there are far more important things on earth to do and has cancelled their next scheduled manned project to moon.

Aren’t we splurging good money on irrelevant things, when there are hundreds of causes and issues crying out for urgent infusion of funds, like education of children, child labour or upliftment of urban poor children who need support than anything else?

Hottege hittilla, juttige mallige hoovu?

Also read: ‘A modern Indian pilgrimage to another world’

Who would you like to see on moon mission?

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57 Responses to “Anna-sambar & the price of ISRO’s moon mission”

  1. Kitapati Says:

    Moon is a wasteland. This whole thing is just a con game to get frunds from the governemnt. Just waste. Awareness should be brought to stop funding ISRO and instead use those funds to better the quality of living of people living in slums. Housing for all and better sanitation not recreating moon on earth.

  2. babuds Says:

    Yes! On the same count why cars and buses? Are JaTaka bandis not enough? What is wrong with 20 ft wide mud tracks, Do we really need those fly overs with 4 lanes? hoTTege hiTTilla enda mele namage yaakappa ee naisu roaDu mannu maSaana?

  3. Murthy Says:

    “Hottege hittilla, juttige mallige hoovu?”

    Who said they won’t give you togari bele at lower prices ?
    American GM crops are coming soon – just because brinjal was opposed can you oppose everything. How dare in cong regime?
    low prices , high proteins, high yield , less water … just that you need to digest it.

    this budget,
    more food, more foreign investment , more foreign food , more foreign culture…. yes get ready for american euphoria. Pranab will even quote Obama’s word in it. wait n watch.

    now we should not ask for 1000 crores you see. high intellectuals and high class people from Murthy Angadis and likes (when our economy is booming at 8-9%) need more infrastructure and standards to study and be on top of world you see , what else will the other 90% of population be proud of?

    Interesting is to see what poverty means to different people.

  4. Mahesh Vijapurkar Says:

    Scientific knowledge no more progresses by intution. Research involves effort and expeidnture.

    And if the universities can’t produce enough talen and people with curiosity, then we may as well set up a whole new set of them by scrapping what we have.

    But then, is it not cheaper for the moon mission to have got the data now cheaper than it would be in the future? But yes, educational institutions need to catch up, they need to grow up.

    Kapil Sibbal: you have your work cut out for you. But are you and your government up to it?

  5. Gowda Says:

    May be ISRO is having plans to sow paddy on moon.

    Farmers near devanahalli, get ready for another screw session. Last time it was for Int Airport, now its for Moon.

    Mr.Devegowda, u need to wake up. U have a chance to cook ur Tur Dal in this proposal also.

  6. thodu Says:

    No, we cannot hold the Agrriculture Minister responsible. So, let us target ISRO.

    While at it, cancel the Commonwealth games too.

    And the IPL. The corporates should be made to buy tur-dal and distribute it because our agriculture minister cannot do his job.

  7. Karihaida Says:

    Saar if you have not checked recently, toor dal has come down to Rs 65/kg, so moon mission is ok. BTW the annual security budget of madam’s koterie and kin is more than enough to fund the moon mission. We can even name it Sonia Gandhi moon mission if that makes people happy.

  8. Gowda Says:


    Y would u like to go upto Delhi?

    Since the project is expected to be in Bangalore. Then let it be Yeddi Moon mission, or even it can be Appa Maklu and their setup moon mission.

  9. Vinay Says:

    A government needs to do thousands of things. They need to create 8-lane roads and build flyovers, as well as build winding village roads. They need to povide drinking water to slums, as well as build huge airports. It’s never an either-or thing.

    This post reminds me of those articles in American or ritish magazines. Any Indian achievement in space, computers or some such field brings out the loonies who start commenting about how poor India is, and how India should be feeding its starving millions before trying anything else, etc. etc.

    Let’s destroy Bangalore and send every manjack back to the villages. After all, we need food, not IT parks, Airports, and so on, isn’t it?

  10. harish Says:

    Food, shelter and clothing are the basic needs to which there is no easy access. Just give food for thought and find out how many underprivileged, slum, needy families would have been rehabilitated with the money already spent and yet to be spent.

    It took 1000 crores to certify garbage as garbage!!!!

    chandamamananna torisi anna tinnisabeku…
    anna torisi chandamamananna tinnisodakkaaguttaa??

  11. Vinay Says:

    At least ISRO spends its money reasonably efficiently, and provides employment and a great deal of national prestige. If the same money were to be used by the Government for Poverty eradication, it will provide zilch employment, zero poverty eradication. All it will achieve is to fill the coffers of some Swiss bank.

  12. Vinay Says:


    99.99% of all farmers around Devanahalli have reaped the benifit of the airport more than you or I ever will. They have become rich beyound their wildest dreams, and I have personal experience of having encountered such farmers.

    “Screw session” indeed – which world do you live in, Gowda? Are you related to the Son of the Night Soil by any chance?

  13. kavitha Says:

    I think the money spent on the Rajeev Grameen Yojana’s and Jawahar Rozgar Yogana’s can be diverted for this. Anyway’s they end up in the pockets of local congress goons and make them rich.

    Also, scarp this Z,Z++ category security for the pinheads in delhi and cow belt and let that money also be diverted for this ISRO project.

  14. anantha Says:

    Admittedly, I am not a lunar/space exploration expert by any measure, but this 1000 Cr plan sounds a lot like we are reinventing the wheel. We might be able to do stuff for a fraction of the price by collaborating with a country that already has such facilities. US? USSR? I am sure there are political implications, but is that justifaction enough for 1000 Cr.? I am not sure.

  15. Mahesh Says:

    That’s factually wrong. Mr. Obama only canceled manned exploration of the moon to focus on other NASA projects which have shown to perform better than manned missions. In fact, talking about “problems on earth”, Mr. Obama, the savior of the universe and other things, has actually increased funding for NASA in the most recent budget.

    Now, why kill a few hundred crore project because some idiocy of a ministry has screwed up policies? In spite of the partisan nature of this finding, the fact remains that RTI disclosures have shown how the UPA has bungled the food-price issue.

  16. Munavalli Says:

    1000 Cr to ISRO would definitely take India’s scientific advancement by atleast X years. The same 1000 Cr in Rajeev Grameen Yojana will boost the local political goon’s wealth by 10X. You make the choice.

  17. tsubba Says:

    but it doesnt work like that right? they are not going to take the C-rupees that was budgeted for chandrayaana and give it to either farmers or consumers so that togari bele will become T-C rupees, instead of the current T.

    also togari bele is not T rupees, because C rupees from GoI coffer went to chandrayaana. togari bele grew to T rupees for its own reasons. one of which is cartel.

    also people tasked with dealing with togari beLe are different from people tasked with space exploration. each of whom are being paid to do their task.

    the real problem is none of us understand how togari beLe price is set. we dont understand that business. land is same, its raining similarly, effort and resources it takes to grow togari bele is similar (to earlier times) but why do i have to pay more?

  18. Khan Says:

    ISRO, DRDO are the new con artistess… they may get all the money for the “research” by the “scientists”, but when it come to product delivery it is all beg and borrow.

    All the PSLV and cryogic rockets are heavily borroed one. Remeber the great cryogenic engine development challenge….ultimately have to source from russia. The bankruptcy of russia and sale of silver at the time, certainly contributed to this recent boastfulness of ISRO.

    DRDO, another of the same league…lets summarize its accomplishment

    Prithvi… after decades of failures and countless test when it was ready…. a liquid fuel missile was deemed too dangerous, corrosive and require “scientists to operate. Fortunately DRDO solid propellant technology was miraculously appeared to save its whatever reputation.

    Arjun Tank… which is in the making since 1974 is yet be accepted by the army, except for token gesture. This is the organization who have not developed a armoured car, went to design MBT.

    LCA- lost chance aircraft…is also in the making since 1983, with promised delivery in 1995. This is again when we import trainer, the snake oil salesman, instead going from trainer to fighter aircraft, went otherway round. Reason, more moolah is to be made in super dooper fighter aircraft, than a bland trainer.

    Astra BVR Missile
    Again snak oil salesmanship at its best for the clueless politicians. When established missile manufactured like UK and Germany is content in WVR ASRAAM and IRIS-T, our “scientists” promised latest and greatest astra. Well they are still scourging, if anybody can lend them a seeker.

    The list is endless ….. but now they have changed the track from “indigenous” to joint venture. Which means getting the design from abroad and naming it to some local mythological figure.

    one more tidbit, each one who joins is a scientist, who in his lifetime guaranteed employment move from a-z grade “scientist”. All are ratta baaz “merit”, who in their 1000 year history have not done any productive work.

  19. rajkiran Says:

    Why this nonsense question again and again ??

    As ISRO’s launches are reason for inflation — and as if scrapping ISRO’s launches will bring down inflation!! — I can’t understand how can people ask such foolish questions ???

    Ok, now answer this, when Dal and Sugar are at such high prices, is a blog like Churumuri necessary ??? — Just scrap this blog and let us spend that amount saved from its computers/servers etc. to bring down the price of sugar and dal.

  20. yadhu Says:

    It’s more to easy things than understanding them!…people who post here don’t spare a thought to think about the use and reason for such a huge expenditure. ISRO is not a fool to spend so much money either to certify “Garbage” or to re-invent a wheel. The technologies that come out during this kind of invention will ultimately help people, when satellites were being launched by ISRO, people said the same thing now these satellites are helping the farmers and Govt’s in agriculture, disaster management, weather, defense, etc. You people don’t have iota of knowledge of what goes into the space reasearch and how it will help the country.
    As some said why to re-invent the wheel why not to collaborate, my friend the countries that you have mentioned are not our relatives, who are ready to welcome us for everything. The same US which is a friend of India and which had a payload in the Chandrayaan-I mission, refused to give India access to one of it’s ground station to receive the Chandrayaan-I satellite data, the NASA just refused even to raise or talk about this issue.
    In the field of space, defense and other high-technologies you are alone, you are on your own.
    And as for the people who are talking about poverty, upliftment and other things, if ISRO is wasting money, then the same applies to the building the flyovers, metro-rail, airports, infrastructure, common-wealth games, IPL, etc. Even providing you a computer is waste of money the 30,000/- spent on your machine and subsidies given to you in the form of power to run your computer and internet is also a waste of money, think about it!…..

  21. Kabaddi Says:

    I think one crore should be given to Mysore kabaddi team to participate in kabaddi world cup

    If they win one more crore should be given

  22. Dr. Sree Reddy Says:

    Has ISRO/ Gov Of India made public the reasons for its Chandrayana mission’s failure?

    More than space and techonology investments, India should invest in primary and secondary vocational education and primary health care.

  23. Vinay Says:

    No country ever became great, rich and powerful by asking dumb questions about Anna-Sambar vs. Space exploration. The USA and Europe had (and still have) their stinking slums and crime-infested neighbourhoods.

    Instead of weighing Anna-Sambar against technology, what we should press for is more indigenous technology and less hi-tech imports. Every rocket launched by ISRO must have indigenous components, from the Steel used to the sensors and engines, etc. That will do more to feed people that all the goddamn ‘poverty eradication’ efforts.

    In fact, remove the bloody licence noose and just allow private defence industry to flourish (with regulations, like the USA). Even though that will create a huge and powerful lobby, at least we will generate employment and contribute to our own economy when we spend on defence instead of boosting the Russian or Israeli economy like we do currently.

  24. Murthy Says:

    when you open markets wide open it’s obvious there will be foreign invaders.
    Now we have almost reached nanga naach stage that even food prices get controlled by the share markets.

    But what I see here – (untouched by cnn-ibn )

  25. Hiker Says:


    I see that you have started reading and liking Mahabharata and all. If you don’t know, Mahabharata is a story of 2 kufr gangs fighting each other – the great war. lot of violence. You coming from the religion of peace, should not read an epic about war. Also, don’t do too much kufr things for you may miss your 72 houris.

    ISRO bere, togari beLe bere. Why mix? Do you expect ISRO to not go to moon till hunger / poverty problems are solved? Even the corner grocery store sheTTru can tell you why togari beLe prices have reached the skies. It is because it is being stocked in godowns to create shortage of supply and increase the price.

    There was a report in Headlines Today about tons of sugar being lying in Kandla port for months without getting distributed.

  26. Mad guy Says:

    If Govt allocates 1000Cr for growing togaribele in space, then it will be a good investment and also good for scientists.. :)

  27. Hiker Says:

    And the reason for price rise is …

    “It’s official now. On Monday, the Union government explicitly admitted that the sharp rise in food prices was partly fuelled by its own programmes and policies — especially the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the high procurement prices given to farmers.”

  28. Narayana Says:

    Moon mission is a fine idea. It can catalyze the whole nation to leap frog technologies and find its destiny in encomium of nations. India needs more rational thinking in its day to day affairs and Moon mission can inject that.

    Let there be thousand moon missions.. Let every kid of India start playing “moon walking games” ; let soap operas of sas bahu be replaced by star trek kind of series.

    I feel biggest boost America got to its confidence was from the moon mission. Now it is India’s time!

    on a side note. I was surprised at ISRO’s observation that people are not asking its data for analysis!!!!. Can’t they put that that online!!!!! Why are they trying to build a babudom for seeking and sanctioning who can use that data!!!!!

  29. Karihaida Says:

    for once I am with you on this. First task is to kill DRDO and privatize it. ISRO is doing ok. But DRDO and all other defence orgs as they are now should die and should exist only as a nodal agency like DARPA. It is a disgrace that we cant even produce our own combat rifle, now that INSAS (again a shameless copy of AK56) is being retired.

  30. DailyBread Says:

    “just allow private defence industry to flourish”

    Good post Vinay..

    If India is serious about private sector participation in defence industry, the govt. should privatise ordnance factories and all public sector defence enterprises. If this happens, in one go we will have our very own Lockheed Martins, Bofors and Marconis (who knows, our Ratan Bhai may buy General Dynamics and we don’t have to worry about Arjun’s performance)
    Any technology/equipment/weapon developed by DRDO can be sold to the highest bidder among these privatised companies for further productisation and induction. Commercialisation for civilian use (dual use)will help these companies to build different revenue streams.

  31. Khan Says:


    The very mention of INSAS, drives anyone who is slightly following DRDO to frustration. I mean Kalashnikov developed the rifle in 1940’s for the pure love of his motherland, and DRDO in 2000 can’t able to imitate it properly. C’mon, you have thousands of “scientists” at your disposal, thousands of crores budget, the so-called “merit” only hiring, the latest CNC Machines available, what else you want to replicate the vintage rifle designed and manufactured by single person in a garage????

    Talk about OBC reservation, they cry earth and sky, that it will dilute these institutions, what??

    The 1000-crore facility will recreate the moon’s surface on earth which will help in getting a first-hand report of how a lunar rover works,”

    The combination of illiterate cluless politician and sophisticate con artiste continues…

  32. Kitapati Says:

    It is now proved that the appollo moon landing was a hoax. It was all staged managed in a studio in Arizona.
    India should do something similar and create a moon program roping bollywood stars like King Khan, Ash, Big B, Bebo and others. Why spend so much if we can do all that in a studio. A movie that can be done for 100 crores why spend 1000.

  33. kavitha Says:

    India is caught between devil and deep sea when it comes to arms procurement…there are no reliable indigenous manufacturers, DRDO does not deliver quality products on time, you cannot go out and procure it from abroad because India wants a technology transfer for most of its procurement, which the supplier country is not willing to do,or the opposition makes a hue and cry about kickbacks (remember bofors, HDW)..added to this the procurement cycles are long and take a few years before the actual procurement begins by which time the technology is obsolete.

    Net result is the defense forces are stuck with aging equipment and obsolete technology to fight papistanis and chinese. It was hilarious to read the speech delivered by Dr.Saraswat, DRDO chief, saying that future developments will be leading edge technology based including bio,nano and laser guided precision weaponry.

    Man, these guys cannot design and produce a frigging automatic rifle that is acceptable to the army, they are day dreaming about bio,nano and laser guided weapon systems.

  34. Hiker Says:


    Not Arizona. I think Las Vegas. I mean WTF. Proof? elli? Fox news?

  35. Khan Says:

    >>>Man, these guys cannot design and produce a frigging automatic rifle that is acceptable to the army, they are day dreaming about bio,nano and laser guided weapon systems.

    The INSAS is the one mis-step that DRDO did in their illustrious career of deceit. DRDO should have, as usual promised a laser powered rifle, plasma rifle or some such mumbo jumbo and taken 30 years to research and develop. We mango people would have been more this is sooper dooper weapon system, unlike run of the mill cloning of Kalashnikov.

    This has been their pattern, when they don’t even know how a piston engine works, they promised kaveri turbofan complete with budget and time-line…on what basis only these worthy fellows knows. Now the hotsection being sourced from french engine or buzzword joint-venture is floating around..i.e back to screwdriver assembly.

  36. Murthy Says:

    Though agree with kavitha lankesh on most of things
    “Man, these guys cannot design …..”
    in this she says Man and guys cannot design
    can’t it be something like
    “Woman, these girls cannot design ……”

    Is it some kind of feminist agenda in English journalism that they seek a revenge for those females stripped and gyrated in the name of movies from our poem writers.

  37. Simple Says:

    How does one justify these moon missions, when we don’t have power supply in Bangalore?

    How will moon missions work without power?

    First, let the govt. concentrate all its energies and money on improving power.

    Because today, if there is no power, there is no life.

    Virtually, the nation would come to a standstill.

    No power means No business can be conducted, no offices can remain open, no hospitals will be able to work.

  38. Vinay Says:

    There is no shortage of fools who comment about the uselessness and waste of space exploration as if they know everything about tomorrow. A century back, the same argument could have been made for research into heavier-than-air planes. Remember fools, you don’t know what tomorrow will look like. All you know is that TODAY, it is not viable to create colonies on the moon. TODAY it is not viable to extract minerals from the moon and bring it back here. You just don’t know what will be possible TOMORROW.

    As long as a disproportionate amount of money is not being spent on these missions, it is fine – we need them. These are not being done at the cost of providing power to Bangalore.

  39. Sandesh Says:

    Having worked for a while in DRDO (LRDE actually) and now at one of the IITs, I have seen both academic and DRDO worlds. Mt two cents.

    a) @Vinay, I think what folks here are demanding is a little *accountability*. No doubt, space and defense research is expensive and justified, the question is— Is the money being spent correctly ? When you pour in crores and crores of money, you expect some deliverables right? The biggest problem with DRDO is that there has been little product development commensurate with money it has received. Surely, anyone would question the futility of pouring money to these guzzlers which produce no results.

    b) Contrary to what Khan might want us to believe, selection to DRDO labs and ISRO is not all ‘merit based’. DRDO (and others) have not been able to attract top ranked students even from local engg colleges. Those who join are disillusioned after a couple of months..when the seniors tell them to chill out and relax, no work is assigned, and most of the time is spent on tea, lunch and more tea. Unless, the work culture changes I don’t see DRDO producing anything that the defense can use.

    c) No accountability. I remember that majors from army/navy/air force used to visit DRDO and the so called scientists (right from group leaders), used to shiver when these visits were scheduled. The majors would be so annoyed with non-progress in terms of product, field trials, support system, technology transfers. The few products developed are substandard, behind state of the art by 20 years and since army can’t take chances in a war, we end up buying weapons from other countries (israel, russia, france and so on).

    d) Once you enter DRDO you are taken care for lifetime. You get staff quarters, essential commodities at throw away prices, 8-5 working hours, no projects, and pension when you retire. It is very easy to go into the regular time pass mood and most scientists are in that mood. Those very few who work hard go away from DRDO after a few years. Overall, it is considered an ‘easy life’ for scientists who join DRDO.

    e) DRDO scientists are now ‘encouraged’ to do PhD. IITs have separate quota for these scientists for the MTech and PhD courses. The pathetic level of knowledge these girls (and guys) have is a serious concern. Anyway they are least interested in gaining knowledge. They are here to get a course completion certificate which allows them to jump ahead in the career.

    f) One big difference b/w US and Indian defense labs are that US defense labs (such as at Las Alamos, Argonne etc) are very very attractive for bright students. There are short term careers for those who join US labs. Once they come out, top institutions scramble to take them in. So, it is considered a great achievement to join one of the US defense labs. Can we say the same to DRDO labs ??

    g) US invests heavily in the universities. Their defense comes from three sources–labs, universities, and private developers (who again are bright students from top ranking univs). India invests least in universities. A ‘fast track’ grant from DST takes 8-9 months to be approved and the money sanctioned is not more than 17 lakhs. This is hardly a good amount to even replicate the state of the art in the field. Also, unlike US, we have hundreds of different grant agencies (DBT, DIT, DST, CSIR,…) which all are plagued by the same bureaucracy problems. There is very little amount for research in IITs. Imagine the local univs and NITs.

    h) hate to say this… but the quality of engineers produced in India is very very poor. Those coming out of IITs, only 20% are really good. The others are only marginally better than the rest of India. And all engineers eye only s/w as profession (no fault of them though). There is hardly an ambition to take up challenges, explore new avenues and vistas, develop technology. Everyone wants a s/w job, get paid (get laid), go onsite, and procrastinate.

    i) ISRO on the other hand does one job and they do it pretty good, i.e., launch spaceships/ rockets. The moon mission guzzled so much of money and used technologies from abroad as pay loads. The moon mineral mapper came from US. If ISRO shuts up its mouth, works hard on improving technology (stops taking the sons/daughters of employers as ‘trainees’), and provides full details on money utilized there is no reason why space program cannot be continued. Until there is transparency, tax payers have every right to question the (f)utility of dumping money on these labs.

    j) Does ISRO wants to give us data ?? Ask someone like me who approached ISRO for data on moonmapper and was told to get lost..unless I fill in hundreds of papers and write a formal proposal explaining why I need it. After 8-9 months, they would ‘consider’ it.

  40. kavitha Says:


    Naanu Kavitha Lankesh alla

    Guys in today’s English parlance is gender neutral and is used for both guys and girls. There is no feminist agenda here :)

    Regarding naked women gyrating in movies produced by poem writers..I do not have an opinion on this…it is their body and they are flaunting it voluntarily for monetary benefit..I bet if there was a sizable market, even men would be flaunting naked bodies in movies for the benefit of fact Salman Khan is already there half way in most movies.

  41. Karihaida Says:

    you just confirmed what i had heard and suspected for a long time. Heck even pakis are better than DRDO. One Tomahawk lands in their country and within 3 years they induct the Babur cruise missile.

    May be what we need is a war in which we loose badly,thus exposing DRDO’s incompetence. I don’t see it changing any other way. :(

  42. Vinay Says:


    I agree with you on the DRDO aspect (I have some ‘inside information’ too) – please check my comments above about defence privatization.

    However, some people here don’t understand the importance of space research and space exploration. Their opposition is based on the premise that “India is a poor country and needs to feed its people first”. Some fools don’t realize that India is a food surplus nation, and the problems lie only in distribution and the food supply chain!

  43. Sandesh Says:

    Sad but you are true…. for eg., NAL is still building a passenger aircraft after 60 years of existence!
    Of course, we cover up our incompetence by saying pakis have access to technology from china and US :)

    I agreed with the privatization of defense point. In fact, my comment was in support of it. To being with, Defense labs should be slowly phased out and the money should be diverted to universities. Privatize certain aspects of defense program. Although, space probably can’t be privatized due to security purposes :).

    “Their opposition is based on the premise that “India is a poor country and needs to feed its people first”. ”
    I agree. this is a very flimsy and lazy premise. If we ask such questions, we will never be able to achieve anything!

  44. Murthy Says:

    “Guys in today’s English parlance is gender neutral and is used for both guys and girls”
    Eno nim khushi.

    “Some fools don’t realize that India is a food surplus nation, and the problems lie only in distribution and the food supply chain”

    Yes Sir. We need those crores to fix these problems only. Innenu andukondidri!!!

    The only difference would be
    some Rakesh Sharma would miss a chance to say a line in Urdu from moon but that’s ok at cost of clearing thousands of slums. Isn’t it?
    We need not compete in space exploration with US .They normally get good quality photos and publish papers online. Since half are Indians in NASA there should be no problems in accessing even confidential ones to top scientists. Let me know if you need any related paper.

  45. DailyBread Says:


    I guess CSIR also has the same problems.

    You know the defence procurement process. I think introduction of a Admiral Nanda like person on behalf of DRDO in this process will increase the chances of induction of DRDO developed products. As I said earlier, we need to privatise Defense Entreprises and allow these companies to compete with foriegn defense suppliers with the help of people like Admiral Nanda. If this happens, in 15-20 years we will have a fairly decent eco-system in DRDO labs.

  46. Vinay Says:


    “Yes Sir. We need those crores to fix these problems only. Innenu andukondidri!!!”

    Thousands and thousands of crores are being spent year after year, and continue to be spent on a continuous basis on such work. Indians have still not realized that such gigantic Government spending has never ever provided much tangible benefit. And now you propose to spend more thousands of crores using the same old failed approaches? No, thank you! If we listen to people like you, tomorrow when new technologies come up and when we actually find it practical and essential to reach for the moon, we will still be a third world nation living off the crumbs of the West, as it has always been.

    Your problem is that you feel you have seen everything, and the world and technology will always remain as it is today. If you had been alive in the 1900s no doubt you would have said the same about aircraft and nuclear power, am I right?

    “Since half are Indians in NASA there should be no problems in accessing even confidential ones to top scientists. Let me know if you need any related paper.”

    Let me call your bluff now. I want any recent research paper on Solar flares from the Dryden research library, NASA

    “They normally get good quality photos and publish papers online.”
    And some Indians are idiotic enough to believe that the USA puts up classified and mission critical images ONLINE! Wow!

    “Since half are Indians in NASA there should be no problems in accessing even confidential ones to top scientists.”

    What can I say to this? Really, do you believe those forwarded mails saying that HALF of NASA has Indians?? Nonsense – please do some research on this. And hey, even if Indians work there, you really expect them to hand over classified information to the Indian Government? And even some Indians there are slimy enough to do that, you think NASA is a fool to allow any scientist to walk away with any paper?

    What is your age Murthy? Am I talking to a kid by any chance?????

  47. Khan Says:


    NAL is still building a passenger aircraft after 60 years of existence!

    If you are referring to SARAS, then think again;

    Saras originated from a collaborative venture with the Russian (formerly Soviet) Myasischev Design Bureau based heavily on one of the latter’s highly similar aircraft codenamed “Duo”/“Duet” – M-102 which was first displayed in the MAKS-2001 Moscow air show. Myasischev being one of the smaller Russian aviation companies, all of whom are struggling to keep their head above water in the changed environment in which the Russian aircraft industry now finds itself, had been looking for strategic investors in the ‘90s and a collaboration with NAL was agreed upon. Current developments seem to suggest that Myasischev has completely sold its “M-102” technology to NAL.

    Whatever DRDO products rolling out is solely due to bankruptcy of Russia and the consequent SALE of their mane patre.

  48. kavitha Says:


    >>I think introduction of a Admiral Nanda like person on behalf of DRDO in this process will increase the chances of induction of DRDO developed products. >>

    Admiral Nanda after his retirement became a successful arms dealer based in Delhi. He has vested interest to kill all DRDO products and initiatives and here we are thinking that he will help DRDO…our ignorance has no bounds.

    This is the same Nanda, whose grandson killed 5-6 pavement dwellers driving his BMW car on them and was succesfully let off on bail by intervention of the grandpa. Yes he must be a very honest admiral :)

  49. Murthy Says:


    For all those which is spent on space exploration also is going to trash.
    For all indigenous ones I could only hear one Tejas after sixty years !!!
    Pokhran did create a crater for BJP after decades of such tests by US , but santhanam denies it (though i do respect anil kakodkars and raja ramannas) !!!
    other space explorations as I said would be to recite some poems.
    wonder why squadron leader was sent for tech mission?
    wonder if rakesh sharma’s did find anything new??
    and how dare he says saare jahaan se achcha in indo-soviet mission that too with liberal indira gandhi whose son married a italian??? and what he did was taking some spectral photos for hydro-electric projects. even there he was thinking of power to common man of north india and not solar flare and moon surface. See, we need to start solve problems form grass roots else even in moon we will think about these things.

    I heard defense men making secret deals and getting just expelled??? and Quattarochis not even touched even by CBI!! And now 1.4 lakh crores for personal and professional swapping defensemen who have not bothered to even give their waste lands to widen the roads of bangalore!!
    Half the money will goto VVIP Z/Z++ security of Nehru austere parivar and Jayalalithas bullet proof jackets and paapi chirayu kinds, cars and whistles and deals and then to foreign wines and whiskies parties and molesting and swapping women officials and then very few to jawans, their cycles and their families in terms of rations and posthumous pensions.
    And Pranab says till 10 lakh only 10% tax for middle class wooings. Half will goto bollywood and casting couches and 1000s of tv channels .
    Above 10 lakhs ‘earners’ tax will be in cheap tricks of sheetal mafatlals and ngos and reliances.
    NRN would still justify that all his employees are paying taxes while he himself knows the whole IT empire he built relies heavily on decades of software tax exemption.

    On the other hand in US someone crashed a plane into revenue dept since he wasn’t able to pay taxes and without pensions !!

    Here politicians spend tens of crores for each assembly seat to make people still weaker and slavish.Only when we get such a strong system which holds everyone accountable can we really do anything useful with tax payers money. Now how can you hold a citizen accountable when you are pumping his blood with Mallya’s cheap venomous liquor and raising half a billion in slums.

    And why has NASA succeeded . because they have a system in place, an environment which can provide them capital.
    There is nothing like UK /France/Italy also sent moon missions to compete with US and it’s not an area to fight upon. Einstein’s and Newton’s laws are already in public domain; but they have stolen copies of Artha shastra leaving us with kaama sutra .

    Purandeshwari said in Rajya Sabha about % indians in nasa. I have no idea if she knows to read forwarded email. you can file an RTI for it. it takes some months though and then they can even reject it saying it as confidential.

    For papers, you need to be a top scientist as i said already and churumuri will lack confidentiality since khans are also commenting. let’s take it offline.

    I think you should change your opinion on age. age is not always directly proportional to wisdom. Doddavarella Jaanaralla. Some become Bachchans and some Arjun singhs and some :):) DeveGowdas.

  50. Murthy Says:

    It seems Rakesh sharma went to space not on moon .

    It seems nobody has from India has – a thing of respite.
    now chandrayan-2
    2012 – if the pralaya doesnt happen then probably Madhavan Nair and some air force pilot will have a tug of war as to who can be sent and arjun singh may propose a reservation scheme and pratibha patil may be confident after sukhoi flight and son’s nomination and woman empowerment . Rahul Gandhi , Salman Khan may also be in race.

    If they go then I expect a similar question as to how India looks from moon. and as always the same answer will be repeated and printed on textbooks.

    In a corner APJ Abdul Kalam may be browsing

  51. Sandesh Says:

    “Whatever DRDO products rolling out is solely due to bankruptcy of Russia and the consequent SALE of their mane patre.”

    Khan.. you could not have more wrong :)… If you look at the old submarines and talk to Navy officers, they’ll tell you about how Russians would be required to carry out even minor repairs and maintenance… cause Russians sold machines..not technology.

    I remember the hype about Indian Cryogenic engines…which was a lift off from Russia! So much for “cutting edge, nano, bio..blah blah” from DRDOs.

  52. Sandesh Says:


    CSIR, CAT (Now known as RR CAT) etc…all share same problems. I know personal horror stories of how contracts works in these “labs” people don’t use ingeniously developed technologies as they can’t make money out of lucrative contracts to private companies..

  53. Khan Says:


    >>>Khan.. you could not have more wrong :)… If you look at the old submarines and talk to Navy officers, they’ll tell you about how Russians would be required to carry out even minor repairs and maintenance… cause Russians sold machines..not technology.

    You are right about soviet Union, but am talking about bankrupt Russia in the aftermath of soviet disintegration. They need to pay for bread, even if it meant SALE of few obselete(for them) designs.

    C’mon after manufacturing hundreds of MIG-21 in India, Mig-21 were falling from sky …….. … for want of a few spare parts, after soviet disintegration. This is a plane built for rough and tumble and can be repaired in the field, without serious equipment. If this plane cannot be supported by “scientists”, then am sure they will not touch the much more complex submarine by bar pole. DRDO incompetence and lack of will to develop practical technologies plays a major part.

  54. Vinay Says:


    I don’t understand why you talk about nonsense topics like defence deals, corruption, politicians, Bangalore road widening, Infosys, etc.? Is it all relevant in any way to what is being discussed here?

    I agree that the output of Public Sector ‘R&D’ organizations like DRDO is crap – everyone on this page agrees with that. But we have a fundamental disagreement about a basic question: “Does India need to have its own space program or not?” You say no, and I say yes. Is it so tough for you to provide to-the-point arguments in favour of your stance instead of talking about a million irrelevant things?

    “you can file an RTI for it”

    For what? An RTI with GoI to find out how many Indians work in NASA??!! See Murthy, Indians have grown up with too much brainwashing about how great the Indian brain is, and how the entire USA is being driven by Indian brains. And the media, and public, are ever eager to lap up such stories. When I hear such arguments, I understand that the person is a strong believer of the ‘great rich Indian heritage and culture’ and how it continues to influence world events. Duh!

    “For papers, you need to be a top scientist as i said already and churumuri will lack confidentiality since khans are also commenting. let’s take it offline.”

    So, what you are saying is that 1) “Khans” are automatically not to be trusted. 2) churumuri would have been highly confidential if “Khans” had not been commenting. 3) You claim that you can actually provide me confidential NASA papers if I contact you offline.

    Try not to show your Xenophobia overtly. And just admit it – you were talking through your ass Murthy, you can’t get jackshit from NASA, let alone classified material.

  55. Murthy Says:

    I have talked about all extravagant wastages we do.
    I don’t know what is relevant for you but it seems you have a kind of racism towards one of excretory organ.

    I think the basic question was about 1000 crores of tax and not “Does India need to have its own space program or not?”
    if tax is collected from upper class as some space tax i will have no problems – but they are least bothered about even rural education you see.

    they try to look for personal prosperity and progress till they explode

    india does have it’s space program – we do explore space on every occasion – even common man and woman , rohini during monsoons , arundhati during marriages and so on.

    so you are saying “his name is khan and he is not a terrorist” .i agree.
    even i thought he is a scientist .

  56. DailyBread Says:


    “He has vested interest to kill all DRDO products and initiatives”

    Precisely. An agent can motivate :-) armed forces to buy some DRDO developed products.

    Admiral Nanda was (not is) an honest man. Loose, pub going men & women are killing pavement dwellers and cops every week.

  57. Beg, borrow or steal: IAF chief's advice to defence scientists - Page 3 Says:

    […] etc. are pathetic to the core. I quote from the following comment on another blog (link below): Anna-sambar & the price of ISRO’s moon mission � churumuri Having worked for a while in DRDO (LRDE actually) and now at one of the IITs, I have seen both […]

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