Nainital: The Governing Council of Aryabhatta Research Institute, headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, has handed over charge of the institute`s director to its senior most scientist Anil Pande.
The move came after Uttarakhand High Court issued contempt notice to Kasturirangan and a top central government official for not following its directive to review the extension of two years given to ARIES Director Ramsagar, who is facing charges of irregularities in recent appointments at the institute.
The Governing Council of Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences has also decided to keep in abeyance the service extension given to Ramsagar till further orders.
Pande has taken charge as Director of the institute.
Confirming the development, Pande told PTI that the Governing Council`s decision reached the institute on May 21.
On May 20, the Uttarakhand High Court had issued notice to Dr Thirumalachari Ramasami, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology, and Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, Chairman of ARIES for not following earlier directions of the court.
ARIES, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, is one of the leading research institutes in the country, which specialises in observational astronomy, astrophysics and atmospheric sciences.
The 50-year old State Observatory at Nainital was rechristened on March 22, 2004 as ARIES, an acronym for Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational-Science.
The Observatory came into existence at Varanasi on April 20, 1954.
It was moved to Nainital in 1955, and later to its present location in 1961 at an altitude of 1,951 m at Manora peak, a few km south of Nainital.