Avinash Chander
Director General DRDO and scientific adviser to Raksha Mantri Dr Avinash Chander and Board of Director BALCO Sushil Kumar Roongta during 3rd annual convocation Indian Institute of Techology Bhubaneswar in Bhubaneswar on Oct 18, 2014.IANS

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General Avinash Chander expressed shock at the government's sudden decision to remove him from his post 15 months ahead of the end of his tenure.

"I am hearing this from you. It has come as a shock to me. I haven't received any order from the government," Chander told Hindustan Times. "It is the government's decision to end my contract but I had no indication this was coming. No idea why it has happened."

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Tuesday approved the decision to remove Chander from his post and the termination letter noted that he will leave office on 31 January 2015. 

"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the termination of the contract of Shri Avinash Chander, Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development-cum-DG, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri with effect from 31.01.2015," The Indian Express cited a statement from the letter signed by BP Sharma.

While a specific reason hasn't been given for the sacking, the organisation has earlier been slammed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delay in some key operations.  

Chander was appointed as the DRDO Director General on 31 May 2013 and his three year long tenure was set to end in May 2016. The 64-year-old joined DRDO in 1972 soon after completing his graduation in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

He then served as Secretary Defence Research and Development-cum-Director General, and was also the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister. Although Chander retired in May 2014, he was in charge of the DRDO chief's position until May 2016, according to Business Standard

Chander is known for his contribution in the making of Agni series of ballistic missile systems.