Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar, director of the Space Applications Centre, has been appointed chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). Former Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan had retired on December 31, following which Shailesh Nayak, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, was given additional charge of Isro till the appointment of a new head.
Sources said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared Kumar's name. Kumar will also be the secretary, Department of Space and chairman, Space Commission on re-employment on contract basis for three years.
Kumar is the senior-most scientist in Isro. He has an honours degree in Physics from National College, Bangalore University; a masters degree in Electronics from Bangalore University, and an M Tech in Physical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore).
Kumar joined Isro in 1975. According his profile on the Space Applications Centre website, he has contributed to the design and development of "Electro-Optical Imaging Sensors for Airborne, LEO (low earth orbit) and GEO (geosynchronous) platform-based imaging sensors starting from Bhaskara TV payload to the latest TMC ad HySI payloads for Chandrayaan-1 missions".
He has "steered design and realisation of communication, navigation, microwave and remote sensing payloads at the Centre," the website says.