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A humble farmer's son's journey to Indian Space agency top job

Press Trust of India  |  Kanyakumari/Chennai (TN) 

A humble son of a who studied in local schools in Tamil medium at district of is now all set to helm India's Space agency

K Sivan, now of Space Centre,who has been named the next of and of and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is a native of Tarakkanvilai in district.

"hails from a very ordinary family. His father was a He is the first graduate in the family", his uncle A said.

Recalling Sivan's student days, told that the rocket expert was "self-made, studious and hard working. He never went to any tuition or coaching classes."

He studied in schools in Tarakkanvilai his native village and at neighbouring Valangumaravilai in Tamil medium. Later, he graduated from in Nagercoil, he said.

"The entire village is happy. The school where he studied today held a function and distributed sweets."

On his elevation, told PTI: "This is a rare opportunity. This is a post held by legendary people, I accept this with humility."

Expressing happiness, he recalled the efforts of his seniors and work by junious in space initiatives (for organisational and nation's growth) and said the also "believed in me."

Asked if he expected the elevation, he said "I did not expect it," adding his "mind is full of PSLV (launch)."

graduated from Madras in aeronautical engineering in 1980 and completed Master of Engineering in Aerospace engineering from IISc, in 1982.

Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT, in 2006.

He joined in 1982 in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project and contributed immensely towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis. He held various responsibilities during his stint in

Sivan, who will succeed incumbent A S for a three-year term, has numerous publications in various journals and is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of and Systems Society of

He has received various awards throughout his career, including Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014 and Shri Prerit Dr Research award for 1999.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and of the Opposition M K Stalin, today greeted Sivan on his appointment as ISRO chief.

"I congratulate you on your appointment as the of ISRO. It is a matter of pride for that a person from our state has attained such a high position through ability and dint of his hard work," Palaniswami said.

In his congratulatory letter to Sivan, Palaniswami said his appointment "is a fitting recognition of your long and distinguished career in space research."

"On behalf of the people and Government of Tamil Nadu, I congratulate you on your elevation and wish you all success in your new position," he added.

Stalin, President,

"My hearty congratulations to Dr K Sivan on his appointment as of ISRO. I wish him extraordinary success in his efforts to take our nation's space establishment @isro to further heights," he said in a tweet.

PMK founder also greeted Sivan and wished him well in his endeavours.

The of the yesterday approved Sivan's appointment as Secretary, and Chairman of for a three year tenure.

Sivan's appointment was cleared on Wednesday, two days ahead of the proposed historic launch of ISRO's 100th satellite along with 30 others in a single mission from Sriharikota.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 19:10 IST