Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday announced that a cash award of Rs 25 lakh would be given to each of the nine eminent space scientists from Tamil Nadu, including K Sivan and Mylswamy Annadurai, in recognition of their services to the nation.
At a function organised to felicitate the ISRO scientists from Tamil Nadu, Stalin, in his address, said that alongside the news of the success of Chandrayaan-3, the information about the Tamils associated with such missions too had spread everywhere.
Recalling the words of former Chief Minister C N Annadurai, he said the late leader had wondered aloud why Tamil Nadu had not been the home of icons in the league of physicist Albert Einstein and inventor Thomas Alva Edison. "Today, however, the state has so many stalwarts in the field of science," Stalin said, listing the names of the noted ISRO personalities who hail from the state.
Former ISRO chairman Sivan, Chandrayaan (1 and 2) project director Mylswamy Annadurai and Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre-ISRO V Narayanan were among those honoured today.
Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre A Rajarajan, distinguished ISRO scientist M Sankaran and Chandrayaan-3 project director P Veeramuthuvel were also among those who were felicitated.
ISRO's M Vanitha and Nigar Shaji and ISRO-Propulsion Complex Director J Asir Packiaraj are the others who were feted by the CM today.
Speaking of the Tamil language, the chief minister said it is all about scientific knowledge. He also expressed pride at the fact that of the nine scientists, six had studied in government schools in the state.
Dr. K. Sivan, Dr. Mayilsamy Annadurai, Dr. V. Narayanan, Thiru. A. Rajarajan, Thiru. M. Sankaran, Thiru. J. Asir Packiaraj, Tmt. M. Vanitha, Tmt. Nigar Shaji, and Dr. Veeramuthuvel have made India and Tamil Nadu proud!— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) October 2, 2023
Honoured to felicitate these remarkable space scientists… pic.twitter.com/Bph9xNNxYc
They are from humble family backgrounds, born in small towns and by educating themselves, they have seen personal development, he said. First generation graduates, they became scientists and among the nine, two are women, which symbolises social justice, he added.
Tamil Nadu's young generation should emulate them and grow, he said. Underlining that all three project directors for Chandrayaan 1 (Mylswamy), 2 (Vanitha) and 3 (Veeramuthuvel) hail from Tamil Nadu, he said it made the state proud.
To celebrate it, Stalin said he is making two announcements. One, a sum of Rs 25 lakh would be provided to each of the nine scientists in recognition of their hardwork. "I appeal to you to accept it and bring more and more laurels to India," the chief minister said.
Second, a scholarship named after renowned scientists would be provided to nine postgraduate engineering students to nurture the spirit to make scientific inventions, he said, adding that a Rs 10 crore corpus would be set up for the purpose.
All expenditure including tuition and hostel fees would be borne by the government, he added.
Government school students who studied undergraduate engineering courses by availing the 7.5 per cent reservation (and received financial assistance for the UG course from government) for state-run school students are eligible for the PG scholarship.
Stalin lauded the scientists for bringing laurels to Tamil Nadu and presented them with shawls and mementos.
Ministers including K Ponmudi (Higher Education), Duraimurugan (Water Resources), E V Velu (Public Works), Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena and senior officials took part in the event.