Bangalore: The Government has refused to foot the travel bill of former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair to Paris to attend a meeting of the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), of which he is the President.
The decision appears to be in line with the January 13 punitive order barring Nair and three other former senior ISRO scientists from taking up any government jobs for their role in the Antrix-Devas deal that was subsequently scrapped.
"Earlier the government used to give support for travel etc. But (this time) I had to shell out quite a lot of money (to go there)", Nair, who just returned from France, said here.
Asked if it`s because of the Government`s blacklisting order that it didn`t take care of such expenses, Nair said: "Yes. Certainly, certainly".
The Paris-headquartered IAA is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and exploration of space.
The IAA is distinctive as the only international academy of elected members in broad area of astronautics and space.
IAA membership comprises individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance
for space exploration.
Nair, the first Indian expert in space to become President of IAA, regretted that while China projected 40 people for membership, India failed to project even one.
He, however, said everybody at IAA is appreciative of India`s achievements in the space field, particularly the Chandrayaan-1 mission, and also want "more and more PSLV launches from India on a commercial basis".
"Everybody believes India has got a very unique role to play, particularly on key issues such as disaster management and human space exploration", Nair said. "Our (India`s) image is very high".
He also said IAA has identified four thrust areas human exploration of outer space, robotic exploration of planets in
the solar system, disaster management support and environmental monitoring.