Mr M C DathanFormer Director***, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Trivandrum Part-2

Mr M C Dathan
Former Director***, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Trivandrum


For Students


What  are all precautions  taken to make a new joiner's initial days comfortable in  ISRO? What are the things they have to prepare in advance?

For joining in ISRO you need not to prepare separately. You concentrate on your subjects. Whatever you independently try to prepare in advance is not going to have much benefit because you don't know in which field  you going to work. Whole rocket technology is  such a complex system where every branches of engineering and science is finding a role. But that particular branch of science will have a small portion of the area ,so  you be thorough  in your subjects  and also whatever you learn.

In 12th class  we learn pressure, volume, temperature relationships, the Charles law, boyles law, the adiabatic expansion, thermodynamics, compound cycle, and  in mathematics  parabola, hyperbola, at that time we would think why unnecessarily all  this troubles of  parabola, hyperbola in the life what is use???In mars orbiter mission the total trajectory is controlled  by those parabola and hyperbola by mathematical equation. Whatever things we learn fundamentally ,we find a use throughout the time. Read it well. And when your actual learning  starts is  only when you are applying all the learning  in to the job. What you have learned in the academic institutions were to give you a base or foundations to apply  common  sense and understand more things in the profession.

When you come to the job those subjects in your stored subjects should be able to retrieved fast depending on the requirements. It doesn't happening many times. There are two terms called awareness and conciseness. Awareness is a discipline and conciseness is a happening. Awareness means bundle of the information stored in your mental hard disk. Conciseness means what is happening at present.

Problem is in most of the occasion when you want to get a advice or a command for decision making, the experience you have gathered throughout your life time which is stored in the hard disk doesn't come very fast at the moment, so there is a delay and you do mistakes. The moment you do the mistakes you understand it (ohh... I know it but  I forget it).The correct relation between the awareness and conciseness is recalling without a time gap or delay. This can be attained by introspection(Self soul searching).It should be  done frequently, by rewinding, or recollecting. This kind of recollecting helps in the life. Even the subjects you don't read it for some time it will have faded memory. So make it strong by igniting it.

Could you please summarize your experience in ISRO?

Initially I was doing R & D and things as I told  we learnt from mistakes at that time. Technically  expertise cannot be achieved in all fields during the journey. But it can be  in a particular field. which is called  Vertical expertise. Along with the vertical expertise there is a term called horizontal exposure. In  Horizontal exposure You need not to top in a particular field but you should have awareness about the surrounding areas also. when you grow in position you should have reasonably good knowledge in surrounding area then only you can manage things.

And once you are in place mainly  it is managing then  technical aspects of the things etc., should be given to next level. But when a conflict, or confusion or dilemma, comes for  decision making your expertise , experience caliber and follow up should be utilized otherwise  people below you have capabilities to resolve the things but when the options arises and which options will be the best? it requires kind of discussion and finally decision should be taken very wisely. This is the kind of thing now we people do.

Now main work of our people is train the next level with responsible by lavishly delegating the things to them. Here in VSSC people joined in  2000, with 10 years experience  are now very capable and independently able to do the work. And  now young people are also capable, so absolutely there is no issues. Activities will go smooth.

And one more thing is how to get maximum work from them, once you grow to a management expert or in the position to led 1000 people in a team, your main responsibility is to motivate the people make them feel this organization is belong to them, create a love and likeness  in them for the profession what they are doing, then get the maximum and best output. It should come without external triggering like a natural flow from inside. If they don't like their profession they should be allowed to quit, but before quitting they should be given with some adapting time.

Could you please give some information about the current activities  going on in VSSC ?

PSLV is a continuous program there is a big queue for launching satellites from India as well as from abroad. Then next satellite is going to be a commercial satellite . June 25th launching is fixed, work is continuously going in sriharikota ,that is with a U.K satellite-TM-3 satellite for disaster management and surveillance. Then comes our IRNSS we have made 4 satellites so far still 3 has to be made. Astrosat it is a scientific satellite which is going to be an observatory in space. Then we have GSLV 2 flight which is planned in July August .We have to make GSLV as an operational vehicle like PSLV  to carry 2+ton weight of communication satellite since we have acute shortage for communication satellite or transponders.

Could you please share your most proud of in terms of  contributing  to ISRO?

We are most proud for being in ISRO. That is a great fortune that we got, such a big organization. People may have mentality like Saturday they have off and they are free. But this is unique organizations where the people work with passion so why all kind of achievements are there. And being in ISRO is a proud moment for anybody not only for me. It's a team work.

I have so many moments like  during Chandrayaan launching  I was the director of sriharikota launching center. It was a tuff time to make a decision to fix the launching time and when it was successful that was a great moment. Another moment was during static testing S200 booster  first time, since  no body could make defect free booster for the  first time. It was during 2010. 2014 January Indigenous cryo engine was launched  after two failures .The another  great moment ,September 2014  for exactly placing mars orbiter in its   orbit. And again in December 2014 launch vehicle MK111 tested successfully. And so many many..


Link to part-1


Ms. Kokila,
Amrita Vidyapeetham , Coimbatore

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