Nambi Narayanan recipient of 2019 Padma Bhushan

Published: March 18, 2019

Former ISRO scientist, Nambi Narayanan has been conferred the 2019 Padma Bhushan by President Ram Nath Kovind. It is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India. He is best known for his role in developing the Vikas Engine which was used for the first PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launched by India. The engine was used in the most historic missions of ISRO, such as the Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan. Narayanan, who was heading the cryogenic project at the ISRO, was falsely implicated in the ISRO spy scandal of 1994. He was accused of selling state secrets comprising confidential test data from rocket and satellite launches. He was arrested in December 1994 and charged with espionage. The Supreme Court later cleared him of all charges in 1998 and awarded him compensation in 2018. He had also played a critical role in the development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and in the initial phase of making cryogenic engines.