Mysore (Karnataka): More and more smart graduates and research scholars across India
are opting for an exciting career in space science, as evident
from thousands of applications the space agency gets every year,
"On average, about 150,000 graduates and scholars apply every year
for postings in our organisation though we select about 300-400 on
merit and long-term commitment to become space scientists," Indian
Space Research Organisation chairman K. Radhakrishna told IANS on
the margins of a space summit here, about 150km from Bangalore.
Interestingly, the state-run ISRO, which was losing young
scientists and scholars in droves earlier for a lucrative career
in other sectors, especially the IT industry, and to its overseas
counterparts, has also been able to retain as many over the past
"We have seen a steep decline in exits from our organisation over
the last five years. Voluntary attrition rate is also coming down
substantially as many of those who have joined in the recent years
are interested in a career in space science, as they find it too
fascinating and exciting to pursue," Radhakrishnan said.
Though the space agency has regular retirements on superannuation
and some leaving for further studies (research) and on deputation
or exchange programmes with other space agencies abroad, it has
been attracting hundreds of NRI scientists and its former
employees from overseas.
"We have been able to maintain our human capital at 16,000-17,000
people despite retirements and exits, as we were able to hire
about 3,400 science/engineer grads and research scholars since
1999-2000 from across states with attractive pay package,"
Inability to attract best talent and retain those hired owing to
better opportunities elsewhere forced the five-decade old
organisation to set up a space university at Thiruvananathapuram
to groom science and engineering grads wi h assistantship and a
guaranteed job for a bright career.
"Successful launch of the moon mission (Chandrayan-1) and
dedicated space missions for various applications and national
programmes during the past decade have inspired many science grads
to explore a career in space science," Radhakrishnan observed.
To enhance capacity for launching more satellites for
communications, broadcasting and spatial data, the space agency
has initiated a series of measures in collaboration with its
stakeholders to double-hiring during this decade.
"To convince more youngsters that a career in space science will
be equally rewarding and remunerative, we have sponsored about
1,000 science graduates and scholars from across the country to
participate in this space summit and interact with fellow
scientists from the world over for inspiration," the chairman
The space agency is hosting the seven-day biennial 39th Scientific
Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (Cospar-2012) in the
sprawling green campus of the IT bellwether Infosys Ltd on the
outskirts of this city of palaces.