I have been misquoted by media on ASMT, says former DRDO chairman Saraswat
Former chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and member of NITI Aayog, VK Saraswat, said on Tuesday he was misquoted by the media regarding his recent comments on the Anti-Satellite Missile Test (ASMT).
“I mentioned that we had given a presentation on the issue to the then government. We informed the government that we were working on the system and we would be capable of testing the technology in the times to come,” said the scientist.
“I didn’t claim that the government had not allowed us to develop this programme. It’s a creation of the media,” he clarified.
“By [carrying out] the ASMT, we have demonstrated our capability. We can hit any satellite from any height between 300km, which is called the low orbit, and 800km in space,” added Saraswat.
He also criticised those who have questioned the results of the “surgical strike” by the Indian Air Force after the terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in February. “Those who have raised questions on the surgical strike, which was a reply to terrorists, have no knowledge of missile technology. As a missile scientist, I can say it hit the target and did what it was meant for,” said the former DRDO chairman.
Saraswat refused to comment on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s statement on NITI Aayog. Rahul had said that he would close NITI Aayog and the Planning Commission would take over again if the Congress was voted to power.
The scientist, however, said, “There happens to be a basic difference between NITI Aayog and Planning Commission. The commission used to evolve plans and those were implemented from top to bottom. It also decided on finances. However, NITI Aayog is doing just the reverse. Planning starts from the bottom and it is the government that decides on the finances.”
On the Congress promise of Rs 72,000 per annum to poor families, if voted to power, Saraswat said, “I am not an economist, thus cannot comment.”
Speaking of the role of technology in citizens’ lives, he said that “in the past so many years, technology has given us several things, including luxuries, health care, and improved quality of life”. He added, “Now, we as responsible citizens must develop technologies that are environment-friendly and help save planet Earth for future generations.”
He praised CIMFR for working on technological advances in different fields, such as coal gasification, coal liquefaction etc. Saraswat also addressed scientists of CIMFR on its 73rd foundation day.