Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, while congratulating Chandrayaan-3 for the successful landing on the Moon claimed that ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) scientists have not received salary for 17 months.
According to media reports, he said: “We are proud that our ISRO scientists have made a successful attempt to land Chandrayaan 3 on the moon. We only pray that Chandrayaan’s landing should be successful. But it is being reported in the newspapers that the scientists who have done this work have not received their salaries for 17 months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should pay attention to this as well .
The claim stated by Congress leader Digvijay Singh went viral last month in July 2023 as well. Several media outlets such Nation Gazette thewire, Bhaskar, zeebiz, navbharattimes, cnbctv18, siasat, and bharattimes had published reports in this regard with the above claim.
The Dfrac team had fact-checked this claim earlier which can be read here.
It was revealed in this Dfrac’s fact-check that according to a news published by Times of India on 02 April 2023, Nearly 300 executives of Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd (HEC), Ranchi withdrew their 150-day strike after the PSU agreed to release two-month salary to both executives and workers and promised to take effective steps to release the balance of all outstanding salaries in future.
HEC executives had been on an indefinite strike since 3 November 2022 demanding payment of all outstanding salaries. While the executives have not been paid salaries for the past 16 and half months, workers have been going without wages for the past 12 months.
At the same time, TOI also published a news article with the headline: “HEC, Mecon engineers cheer as Chandrayaan-3 lifts off”.In this news article, TOI stated that HEC is not an official partner of ISRO but played a significant in the Project of Chandrayaan 3. Before 2004-2005, ISRO used to import launch pads from abroad. These launch pads were required to be imported after every one or two launches. In 2008, then President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam visited HEC and was highly impressed at the PSU’s capability and expertise in various fields. Later, HEC was awarded the contract to manufacture the mobile launch pad, horizontal sliding door and tower crane among others by ISRO,
According to the news published by the newspaper Hindustan, political analyst Tehseen Poonawala had also claimed that ISRO scientists have not received salary for the last three years but, On August 16 2023, PIB had denied this claim by Poonawalla. According to ISRO, scientists get a salary at the end of every month.
DFRAC’s Fact-Check proves that Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s claim is misleading, as according to media reports – this salary issue does not belong to ISRO. It belongs to scientists working for Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC), which have been disposed of in the month of April 2023. HEC is not an official partner of ISRO, but the company has played an important role by building the launch pad for Chandrayaan-3.