India:— ISRO Engineers, who worked on launching of India’s Moon Mission, didn’t get salaries for over 17 months.— Engineers protested for months but were told by department that there are no funds for pay disbursement.— Chandrayaan-3 engineers were told by authorities that their contract will be revoked if they protested about it.— If Chandrayaan succeeds to make a soft landing on moon, will become only 4th country in world to do so.
In the viral tweet shared by South Asia Index, it is said that the ISRO engineers who worked on the launch of Chandrayan-3 protested for months but didn’t receive their salary for over 17 months. They also added that the authorities told as there are not enough funds and if they continue to protest their contract will be revoked. Some users even mocked the PM for spending those salary money for his own campaigning. This same message is widely spread on social media which can be seen here and here.
This claim was viral during the launch of Chandrayaan 3 and is viral again now after Tehseen Poonawalla mentioned the same in an interview on the Beer Biceps Youtube channel. Let’s see the facts behind this viral tweet.
What’s the truth?
When we started our research with relevant keyframes, we directly landed on the PIB fact check, an agency that works exclusively for the government of India which disseminates information through different modes of communication. While we read through their post in the X account, they clarified that the circulating piece of news as fake. They even tagged Tehseen Poonawalla while reporting this message along with a video where you can see him talking to a host in an interview with those false claims. PIB also added that all ISRO scientists get their monthly salary on the last day of every month.
While we intensified the research we came across this report published by “The Hindu” with the title “Without salary for over a year, HEC employees seek redressal, may move court”. According to the article, we found out that the HEC engineers worked on the second launch pad project of ISRO.
Thus, its clearly proven that the news circulated with claims of ISRO engineers not getting their salary for the past 17 months is fake. In reality, it’s the HEC employees who were in contract with ISRO were not paid.
Who is this HEC?
HEC– headquartered in Ranchi, Jharkhand, is one of India’s oldest public sector units. Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., is one of the leading suppliers of capital equipment in India for steel, mining, railways, power, defense, space research, nuclear and strategic sectors. It supplies equipment to all major steel plants in India according to their website.
According to an article published in Times Of India, “Nearly 300 executives of Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd (HEC), Ranchi withdrew their 150-day strike after the PSU agreed to release two-month salaries to both executives and workers. HEC also promised to take effective steps to release the balance of all outstanding salaries in the future”.
Here, HEC played an important role in making the launchpad project of ISRO, although it is not an official partner of ISRO. This means they worked on a contract basis. This proves that it’s the HEC employees who didn’t get their salary and not the ISRO engineers.
Therefore, through our investigation, we conclude that the claim that ISRO engineers have not received their salary for 17 months is fake and misleading, whereas it’s the HEC engineers who faced the situation and this too was closed in April 2023.
This article has been updated to include that HEC played an important role in the making of second launchpad project of ISRO and not Chandrayaan-3.