Amidst the Twitter war between Congress and BJP on crediting ISRO to Nehru, what does history say?


Congress Cheerleader shares a picture that Nehru created ISRO. ISRO was founded in 1969. While Nehru died in 1964

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its third lunar exploration mission, Chandrayaan 3 on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India. The images of the launch are widely circulated on social media platforms. Congress supporters credited it to Jawaharlal Nehru mentioning him as the ‘Father of ISRO’. BJP supporters refuted the tweets claiming that ISRO was founded in 1969 while Nehru died in 1964. Some of the tweets shared by BJP leaders and supporters with a similar claim can be seen here and here.

What is the truth?

The official website of ISRO states in it’s ‘about’ section that ISRO was previously the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), set up by the Government of India in 1962, as envisioned by Dr. VikramA Sarabhai. ISRO was formed on August 15, 1969, and superseded INCOSPAR with an expanded role to harness space technology. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of India in 1962 during the setup of INCOSPAR. His tenure as PM ended in May 1964 after his death.

A report on the ISRO website mentions that space activities in the country were initiated with the setting up of INCOSPAR in 1962. In the same year, the work on Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station(TERLS) near Thiruvananthapuram was also started. The Indian space programme was institutionalized in November 1969 with the formation of ISRO. The Government of India constituted the Space Commission and established the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS in September 1972.

Space website mentions that ISRO’s roots stretch back to 1962, when India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, enlisted physicist Vikram Sarabhai to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). Sarabhai is known as the founding father of India’s space program because of this effort. 

This is not the first Twitter clash between BJP supporters and Congress supporters for crediting the success of the satellite launch, in specific ISRO to Nehru. The same happened in July 2019 during the successful launch of Chandrayaan 2.


It is found that ISRO was previously INCOSPAR which was set up in 1962. ISRO was formed in 1969 and was brought under DOS after its establishment in 1972.

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