Former DRDO Chief V S Arunachalam Dies In USA, PM Modi Condoles
New Delhi, August 17 (TNA) Eminent scientist and former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief who played a key player in the weaponisation of India’s nuclear programme, V S Arunachalam, has passed away at the age of 87.
A statement from the family said he was undergoing treatment for pneumonia and Parkinson’s in the United States where he had been living the life of an academic for a long time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) director general Dr VS Arunachalam, who passed away on Wednesday. PM Modi said his passing would leave a major void in the scientific community.
“Dr. V.S. Arunachalam’s passing away leaves a major void in scientific community and the strategic world. He was greatly admired for his knowledge, passion for research and rich contribution towards strengthening India’s security capabilities. Condolences to his family and well wishers. Om Shanti,” said PM Modi.
Dr VS Arunachalam was a material scientist, and became the first DRDO scientist to head the organisation and to assume the office of the scientific advisor. He had served in the organisation for a period of 10 years from 1982 to 1992.
DRDO stated that Dr VS Arunachalam launched three major programmes – Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) under an autonomous body Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA); Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Programme; and IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missiles Development Programme) – in order to develop a family of strategic and tactical guided missiles.
The scientist’s career spanned across the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), National Aeronautical Laboratory, and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory. Arunachalam was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1985 and the Padma Vibhushan on 1990.
Arunachalam had also received DRDO's Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of scientific research and technology in 2015.