G. Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO), is a specialist in Rocket systems , who contributed significantly to the development of satellite launch vehicles starting from SLV3 to GSLV. He was the chief architect of India's work horse launcher ''PSLV". Nair was born in Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on October 31, 1943. G.Madhavan Nair graduated in Engineering from the Kerala University in 1966 and after training at the prestigious Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Mumbai, joined the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1967.He is one of the pioneers who had the opportunity to work with the founding father of ISRO, Dr Vikram Sarabhai.

During his tenure of more than four decades in ISRO he made significant contributions to the Indian space programme. He was responsible for the development of Avionics and control systems and automated checkout system for India's first satellite launch vehicle SLV3. Subsequently he took up the development of Polar satellite launch vehicle PSLV which has become the work horse launcher of ISRO .PSLV has carried not only Indian but several foreign satellites also into earth orbit and beyond, id to Moon and Mars. He was also instrumental in the development of indigenous cryogenic engine. As Chairman, ISRO, he gave a new vision to Indian space programme and directed the development of space technology and its application to solve the problems of man and society in India. Under his leadership, 25 successful missions have been accomplished such as the INSAT, Resourcesat, Edusat, Cartosat, Oceansat etc and a large number of PSLV and GSLV launches. He was responsible for the implementation of India's first mission to moon , the Chandrayaan- 1, which provided an unique opportunity to the scientific community to study the surface features of the moon , its mineralogy and ultimately leading to the confirmation of presence of water on the moon. He has given a major thrust in the implementation of application programmes such as tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support systems, for meeting the needs of society at large. Under his guidance a scheme for Village Resource Centre was implemented through satellite connectivity, providing multiple services in a single window, thereby improving the quality of life of the poor people in the villages. He initiated several new missions such as the semi- cryogenic engines, recoverable and reusable launch vehicles( SRE), Indian Regional Navigation System(IRNSS) and manned missions. He was instrumental in establishing the Indian Institute of Space science and Technology(IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram. Madhavan Nair has been bestowed with several awards such as National Aeronautical Award, FIE foundations Award, Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award, Swadeshi Sastra Puraskar Award, Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Gold Medal of the Indian Science Congress Association, to name a few. He is the recipient of the Gold Medal from the Prime Minister at the 94th Indian Science Congressin 2007.G. Madhavan Nair and Team ''Chandrayaan'' have been declared the ''CNN-IBN Indian'' of the Year 2008.The nation has honoured him by conferring Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

Madhavan Nair has been conferred with Degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from21universities/IITS etc such as Punjab Technical University, , Sri Venkateswara University, , Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Indira Gandhi Open University, , Cochin University of Science and Technology, , University of Mysore, Rajiv Gandhi Technological University, Bhopal University of Kerala, Karnataka University, Dharwad , Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. Nair was the President, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA),Paris till October 2015.He held various posts such as Secretary to Government of India ,Chairman, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Technology -Patna; and was Council Member, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Chairman, Centre for Management Development, Govt. of Kerala .

Nair was a strong presence in the internal co operation in the space science and technology. As the President of the International Academy of Astronautics for 6 years since 2009, he has made significant contribution in organizing international events of the academy. Notable among them are the heads of space agency summit , from 2010 onwards, which was attended by nearly 30 leaders of space agencies. Subsequently two more summits were organized and the main agenda of these sessions were human space explorations, robotic exploration, climate change and disaster management. On the latter topic, three regional conferences were organized with wide participation from all over the world. During this period nearly 600 leading specialists in space science and technology were recognized as Academicians. A large number of regional conferences were organized in addition to nearly 30 percent of events in each of the IAC sessions in various parts of the world. Quality of Publications of the IAA had been strengthened. The impact factor of its journal Acta Astronautica doubled during this period and has achieved the top 8th position in its class of journals. Nair also served as a board member in IAF representing the IAA and has contributed to the organization of IAC during this period. Cooperation among IAA,IAF and IISL was also strengthened.

As Chairman of ISRO, Nair had led the Indian delegation to the UN COPUOUS for several years and has contributed to the organization of UNISPACE- 3 conference at Vienna. Bilateral and multilateral cooperative agreements were signed with nearly 25 countries during his leadership. International co-operation was strengthened with USA, Europe and Russia. The Chandrayaan mission is an unique example of International cooperation in Space Science and Technology. His passion is to popularize Science among school children and to find solutions to common man's problems through the application of science and technology. His wife is Radhakumari who was also an ISRO scientist. They are staying at Thiruvananthapuram. They have two sons -Dileepan and Jayakrishnan and two grand children- Aditya and Narayan.

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