Shri G.Madhavan Nair (2003-2009)

Shri G Madhavan Nair was born on October 31, 1943 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He graduated in Engineering from Kerala University in 1966 and underwent training at Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Bombay.

He joined Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1967. Since then, he has held various positions posting illustrious milestones on his way to the position of Chairman ISRO. During his tenure of six years as Chairman, ISRO/Secretary, DOS, 25 successful missions were accomplished i.e.,


He has taken initiatives towards development of futuristic technologies to enhance the space systems capabilities as well as to reduce the cost of access to space. He has given major thrust for evolving application programmes such as tele-education and telemedicine for meeting the needs of society at large.

As on today, more than 31,000 classrooms have been connected under the EDUSAT network and telemedicine is extended to 315 hospitals - 269 in remote/rural/district hospitals including 10 mobile units and 46 super speciality hospitals.

He has initiated schemes for Village Resource Centres through satellite connectivity which aims at improving the quality of life of the poor people in the villages. More than 430 VRCs are facilitating access to spatial information on important aspects like land use/land cover, soil and ground water prospects and enable the farmers in taking important decisions based on their query.

VRCs also enable online interaction between the local farmers and agricultural scientists. It also provides information of many governmental schemes, farming system, action plans based on weather, community specific advice on soil and water conservation, etc.

In his tenure as the Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre from 1995-99, India's efforts towards indigenous development of cryogenic technology took concrete shape and vital infrastructures were built and critical technologies were developed.

In his role as the Director of VSSC from 1999 till he took over the present position, Shri G.Madhavan Nair led VSSC, the largest Centre of ISRO with about six thousand employees working in various engineering and scientific disciplines towards the development of India's Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - GSLV capable of orbiting 2000 kg class of satellite into Geo Transfer Orbit, which had its successful flight in the very first attempt, and declared operational after its successful flight in 2003.

He was also responsible for charting the road map for future development of ISRO's activities, especially in the launch vehicle area targeting low cost access to space.

Shri G Madhavan Nair as Chairman, Space Commission is responsible for chalking out the future plan for space research in the country. Major thrust are in scientific exploration of outer space using the ASTROSAT and Chandrayaan (moon) missions apart from implementing schemes for telemedicine, tele-education and disaster management support systems.

He is also providing guidance and leadership in undertaking new technology developments related to launch vehicle, spacecrafts for communication, remote sensing and applications programmes to meet societal needs.

In the international arena, Mr Madhavan Nair has led the Indian delegations for bilateral cooperation and negotiations with many Space Agencies and Countries, specially with France, Russia, Brazil, Israel, etc., and has been instrumental in working out mutually beneficial international cooperative agreements.

Shri G Madhavan Nair has led the Indian delegation to the S&T Sub-Committee of United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) since 1998.

Shri G Madhavan Nair's focus has always been to achieve self-reliance in the high technology areas and to bring the benefits of space technology to the national development, specially targeting the needs of the rural and poor sections of the society.


B.Sc (Engineering), (1966), Kerala University with specialisation in Electrical & Communication. One year training at BARC Training School, (1967), Bombay

Date of birth

October 31, 1943, Neyyattinkara near Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), India


D.Philosophy (Honoris Causa) conferred by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar (2003).

D.Sc (Honoris Causa) conferred by Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati (2004).

Honoris Causa Doctor of Science conferred by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (2004)

Honoris Causa Degree of Doctor of Science Award by Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur (2005).

D.Sc from Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi (2005).

D.Sc from Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur (2005).

D.Sc from Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi (2006)

Honoris Causa from University of Mysore ( 2006)

Honoris Causa from GJ University, Hissar (2006).

Honoria Causa Degree of D.Sc conferred at the 4th Convocation of Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal (2007).

Honorary Degree of D.Sc of the University of Kerala, Kerala (2007).

Honorary Doctorate in Science conferred by SRM University, Chennai (2008).

Honorary Doctorate in Science conferred by Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (2009).

Honorary Doctorate in Science conferred by Karnataka University, Dharwad (2009)

Honorary Doctorate in Science (Honoris Causa) conferred by Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (2009)

Honorary Doctorate in Science (Honoris Causa) conferred by Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (2009)


Fellow, Indian National Academy of Engineering.

Fellow, Astronautical Society of India.

Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, India.

Honorary Fellow, Indian Society for Non-Destruction Testing (ISNT).

Member, System Society of India.

Member, Working Committee of the Current Science Association 2004-06.

Member, International Academy of Astronautics (2004).

Senior Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies (2004-2007).

President, Intersputnik Board (2005)

Honorary Fellow of The Aeronautical Society of India (2007).

Chairman, Research Council of National Aerospace Laboratories (April 2007 to March 2010).

Special Roles

2004 - President, Astronautical Society of India (ASI)

2005 - President, Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI)

2006-2007 - Vice-President, Scientific Activities Committee of IAA

2009-2010 - General President, 97th Indian Science Congress

Positions held

Sep. 2003 - Oct. 2009

Chairman, Space Commission & Secretary to Government of India, Department of Space, Bangalore,

Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization, Bangalore,

Chairman, Governing Body, National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad (upto Sept. 2008),

Chairman, Antrix Corporation Limited, Bangalore.


Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum


Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Trivandrum


Programme Director, ILVP, VSSC, Trivandrum


Project Director, PSLV, Trivandrum


Associate Project Director, PSLV, Trivandrum


Head,Electronics Systems, VSSC, Trivandrum


Project Engineer, SLV-3 Project, Trivandrum


Project Manager, Telecommand System, VSSC, Trivandrum


Head, Payload Integration Section, TERLS, Trivandrum


National Recognition

  • Padma Vibhushan (2009)
  • Padma Bhushan (1998)


  • "MP Birla Memorial Award 2009" from MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research at Kolkata (July 4, 2009).
  • "Bhu Ratna" Award from the Soil Conservation Society of India at the National Conference on "Challenges and Opportunities of Bioindustrial Watershed Development for the Prosperity of the Farming Community" at the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bangalore (June 25, 2009).
  • "Mohamed Abdu Rahiman Sahib National Award" from Mohamed Abdu Rahman Sahib Foundation, Kodungallur, Thrissur (June 19, 2009).
  • " Lakshmipat Singhania - IIM, Lucknow National Leadership Award 2008" from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow at ND (June 10, 2009) .
  • "AV Rama Rao Technology Award" from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad. (cash prize 1 lakh) (May 11, 2009).
  • "Chanakya" Award in the area of Technology Innovative Leadership from Public Relations Council of India at Bangalore (April 3, 2009).
  • "Man of the Year" form Limca Book of Records, 2009 at New Delhi (March 31, 2009).
  • "Special Achievement Award" for contribution towards Science & Technology from the International Institute of Planning & Management& The Sunday Indian State Excellence Awards, 2008 at The Leela Palace, Bangalore (March 25, 2009).
  • "Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2008" from Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan, Mumbai on the occasion of the 96th Birth Anniversary of Shri.Yashwantrao Chavan (March 12, 2009).
  • "Kururamma Award" from Kururamma Tempan, Guruvayoor (March 4, 2009).
  • "Public Service Excellence Award" from All Indian Management Association at the All India Management Association Foundation Day at Delhi (2009).
  • NASSCOM's Global Leadership "Award for Vision" for 2008-09 from NASSCOM at Mumbai (2009).
  • "Newsmaker 2008" - Manorama News Award at Trivandrum (2009).
  • "Bharat Asmita Shreshtatva Award-2009" from MIT School of Government, Pune, at New Delhi (2009).
  • "CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2008" in Public Service Category (2009).
  • "AK Nair Memorial Award" from The North Malabar Chamber of Commerce by AK Nair Endowment Committee at Kannur (2009).
  • "NDTV Indian of The Year" Award at New Delhi (2009).
  • Raja Rammohan Puraskar" award on the 236th birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy at Kolkata (2008)
  • M M Chugani award for 2006, confered by Indian Physics Association at IIT Mumbai (2008).
  • "Bharat Shiromani Award 2006" from Shiromani Institute, New Delhi (2007).
  • "Shankar Ratna" award from Shankara Netralaya - a unit of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai (2007).
  • Dr. A S G Jayakar Award from the Science India Forum, Muscat and the Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage - Oman Chapter (2007).
  • "9th Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award" in the field of Science & Technology from The South Indian Education Society, Mumbai (2006). 
  • Gold Medal from the Prime Minister at the 94th Indian Science Congress at Chidambaram (2007).
  • "Sasthra Ratna" Purskara from the Pazhassi Raja Charitable Trust, Kozhikode (2006).
  • The First "Sree Chithira Thirunal Award" from Sree Chithira Thirunal Trust, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • "Lokmanya Tilak Award" from Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune (2006).
  • Honoured by the Lakshmikanthammal Educational Trust for outstanding contribution to the field of Indian Space Research at RMK Engineering College, Thiruvallur (2006).
  • "Best R&D Man of the Year" Corporate Excellence Award - 2005 from the Foundation of Indian Industry & Economists at ND.(2006).
  • Fifth "Shri Balvantbhai Parekh Award" from The Indian Planetary Society,Mumbai (2006).
  • H.K.Firodia Award 2005 from H.K.Firodia Memorial Foundation, Pune (2005)
  • Dr. Yelavarthy Nayudamma Memorial Award - 2004 from Dr.Y.Nayudamma Memorial Trust, Tenali, Andhra Pradesh (2005).
  • Benedict Mar Gregorios Award from The Association of Mar Ivanios College Old Students, Trivandrum (2005).
  • 10th Science & Technology Award for Excellence for the year 2003-2004 from Sathyabama Deemed University, Chennai (2005).
  • Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiar Endowment Award from Crescent Engineering College, Chennai (2004).
  • Fellow, Astronautical Society of India.
  • Melpadom Attumail Georgekutty Award from Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, Thiruvalla (2004).
  • Personality of the Decade Award from KG Foundation, Coimbatore (2004).
  • Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Gold Medal of the Indian Science Congress Association - January 2003
  • Swadeshi Sastra Puraskar Award - 1995
  • Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award - 1995
  • FIE Foundation's Award - 1994
  • National Aeronautical Award - 1994