Why IITians not joining ISRO? ‘Pay structure,’ reveals ISRO chief Dr S Somanath

ISRO chief Dr. S Somanath disclosed the reason why there is less number of students in ISRO from IITs. While talking to a media channel, he said, “Due to no attractive packages, IITs are not joining ISRO.”

Getting a job in ISRO is the first choice of most of the youth. But due to its salary structure, top ranking students aren’t considering this option. According to a media platform, ISRO Chairman Dr S Somanath said that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is not getting the best talent from the country’s prestigious engineering college – Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) due to its salary structure.

In an interview with Asianet News, Dr S Somanath said, “Our (country’s) best talents are supposed to be engineers from IITs. But, they are not joining ISRO. If we go and try to recruit from IIT, no one joins.”


The ISRO chief shared an example of what happened when his team went to an IIT to recruit engineers. He said: “They (team) were presenting to them the career opportunity. After career opportunities and type of work, they presented the salary structure of the ISRO system. The students who were sitting there saw the highest pay that they could ever get in the ISRO. That was it. After seeing the presentation, 60 per cent of people walked out.”

Average placement of many IITs is equal to the chairman of ISRO: ISRO Chief

ISRO chief said that probably the salary that IITians start with is the highest in ISRO. Last month, business tycoon Harsh Goenka had said in an X post, “Chairman of ISRO, Somanath’s salary is Rs 2.5 lakhs month. Is it right and fair? Let’s understand people like him are motivated by factors beyond money. They do what they do for their passion and dedication to science and research, for national pride to contribute to their country and personal fulfillment in terms of achieving their purpose. I bow my head to dedicated people like him!”

Shashi Tharoor also raises the issue

This trend of IITians giving preference to bigger packages was also highlighted by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor after the success of Chandrayaan-3. He said Somnath was a product of TKM College of Engineering, Kerala and many of his colleagues had graduated from the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET).

Shashi Tharoor said, “Indians are rightly obsessed with the IITs, but let’s salute the alumni of unsung engineering colleges who serve the public sector with dedication & who are the backbone of national enterprises like @ISRO. IITians went to Silicon Valley; CETians took us to the moon!”

Well, this debate has put a major question on the efficiency of premier institutes like IITs and their contribution in nation building.