FIND InnoNuggets


Monday, September 15, 2014

From Memory Lane - Scientist at DRDO

10 May 1998

As a scientist at DRDO, I completed our analysis and our lab submitted a report to Dr Kalam's Office who was DRDO chief. My director told me in the evening that Dr Kalam was not in Delhi but we have submitted the report to his office.

The report was on "how much fissile material does India need to take care of nuclear deterrence against adversaries". It also had a corollary "if we conduct a test what will be the economic, political and foreign relations impact". I was working on the problem along with our team for close to a month. It was considered one of those studies that Kalam used to ask our lab to carry out - studies like this one, I have become used to getting involved directly and considered these as "armchair" studies -more whims and fancies of SA, rather than any particular impact. Somehow, I liked these futuristic/ scenario analysis type of studies.

My assessment interview from Scientist C to Scientist D was on 13th May 1998. I asked my director should I present this study as well to my assessment board as it was fresh. He said yes. I prepared my slides (those days physical transparencies were prepared to be presented on OHP for the interview board).

On 11th May 1998 India conducted shakti 1 tests - the second set of peaceful nuclear explosions after a gap of 24 years of the first PNE conducted in 1974.

I saw the news in the evening on TV. One of the most amazing feeling of surprise, pride, elation and above all an unprecedented joy engulfed me. I told everyone in my house, whoever was willing to listen to me, that this is the type of work I have been doing - of course not building the bomb - but analyzing and studying our security and defence needs and helping in creating potential solutions for defence of India.

Evening I got a call from my director, he said, may be I should not present the study to my assessment board on 13th May. I felt little disappointed as I was felling that I have cracked a nice problem for India. I had enough work to show otherwise, but this study was "hot" now. I asked him to let me present the model and not present the results. He agreed.

On 13th May 1998, as India was conducting Shakti 2 (the second set of tests) I was appearing in my assessment from Scientist C to Scientist D. I presented my work and also the model to calculate fissile material needed to take care of potential needs against adversaries. After my interview, one of the member of the board came out and mentioned that Dr Kalam has gone through the report.

I got promoted to Scientist D.

I left DRDO in year 2000 after Dr Kalam left DRDO in 1999.

Before I left DRDO we built another model of coupled differential equations based on No First Use and anti missile missiles system based on Ingrilitor Brito model.

I hope we do have a clear answer to our Nuclear doctrine questions, now.
Post a Comment

My Book @Goodread

My GoodReads