In a significant announcement on Monday, Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed his deep appreciation for the outstanding contributions made by nine distinguished space scientists hailing from Tamil Nadu. Each of these brilliant minds, including luminaries like K Sivan and Mylswamy Annadurai, will be honored with a cash award of ₹25 lakh in recognition of their invaluable service to the nation.
Addressing a gathering organized to felicitate these eminent scientists associated with ISRO, MK Stalin celebrated the remarkable achievements of Chandrayaan-3 and the extraordinary role played by Tamil Nadu’s talented individuals in such pioneering missions. He fondly recalled the visionary words of the late Chief Minister CN Annadurai, who had once pondered why Tamil Nadu had not produced icons on par with luminaries like physicist Albert Einstein and inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Stalin proudly remarked that the state now boasts a plethora of stalwarts in the field of science, as he listed the names of renowned ISRO personalities hailing from Tamil Nadu.
Among the honorees were former ISRO chairman K Sivan, Chandrayaan project director Mylswamy Annadurai (associated with both Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 missions), and V Narayanan, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre-ISRO. The list of felicitated scientists also included A Rajarajan, Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, distinguished ISRO scientist M Sankaran, and P Veeramuthuvel, project director of Chandrayaan-3. Additionally, CM Stalin extended his appreciation to M Vanitha, Nigar Shaji, and J Asir Packiaraj from ISRO-Propulsion Complex.
CM Stalin highlighted the significance of the Tamil language in scientific knowledge and expressed pride in the fact that six out of the nine scientists had received their education in government schools within the state. He emphasized that these individuals, hailing from humble backgrounds and small towns, had achieved remarkable personal development through education and had become first-generation graduates turned scientists. Notably, two of these nine exceptional scientists are women, symbolizing a commitment to social justice.
Stalin encouraged the youth of Tamil Nadu to take inspiration from these scientists and strive for similar growth and achievement. He took pride in the fact that all three project directors for Chandrayaan missions, namely Mylswamy Annadurai for Chandrayaan-1, M Vanitha for Chandrayaan-2, and P Veeramuthuvel for Chandrayaan-3, hailed from Tamil Nadu, bringing honor to the state.
To commemorate their achievements, CM Stalin made two significant announcements. Firstly, each of the nine scientists will receive ₹25 lakh as a token of recognition for their relentless dedication and hard work. In his appeal, he urged them to continue their remarkable work and bring further accolades to India. Secondly, a scholarship program, named after renowned scientists, will be established to support nine postgraduate engineering students, nurturing their spirit for scientific innovation. A corpus of ₹10 crore will be established for this purpose, covering all expenses, including tuition and hostel fees.
The PG scholarship will be available to government school students who pursued undergraduate engineering courses and received financial assistance for their undergraduate studies from the government under the 7.5 percent reservation for state-run school students.
CM Stalin concluded by commending these scientists for their immense contributions to Tamil Nadu and presented them with shawls and mementos. The event was attended by several ministers, including K Ponmudi (Higher Education), Duraimurugan (Water Resources), EV Velu (Public Works), Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena, and other senior officials.