Nigar Shaji : Director Behind India’s first Solar Mission Adtiya L-1

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Some Information About Nigar Shaji


State:Tamil Nadu

Profession : Scientist

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Aditya L1’s flight towards the Sun on Saturday is the culmination of the hard work of a number of people under its Project Director Nigar Shaji. Besides producing one stellar performance after another, ISRO has also emerged as a perfect platform to showcase India’s women power.

With 35 years of service in ISRO, Shaji has made illustrious contributions to the Indian Remote Sensing, communication and interplanetary satellite programmes at various responsibilities, sources in the space agen ..

Nigar Shaji is the project director behind India’s first solar mission Adtiya L-1 which had its successful launch on September 2 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Shaji joined the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1987 after completing her graduation and master’s degrees.

The 59-year-old scientist from Tenakasi, Tamil Nadu and her team at ISRO ensured the successful launch of the PSLV C57.1 rocket carrying Aditya L-1. When the mission was accomplished, Shaji said it was “like a dream come true”.

Nigar Shaji’s education and career

Nigar Shaji went to an English medium higher secondary school in Sengottai. Then she chose electronics and communication engineering for her Bachelor’s degree which she completed at Tirunelveli Government Engineering College. Shaji later completed her master’s degree in electronics and communications from Birla Institute of Technology in Ranchi.

It was in 1987 that Shaji joined the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. At the space agency, Shaji worked in several fields like communication, satellite, design, and control systems. According to reports, she was also the Associate Project Director of Resourcesat-2A, the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite for National Resource Monitoring and Management. She worked at the UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru and held several important roles. She also headed the Satellite telemetry centre at ISRO, Bengaluru.

Nigar Shaji became the project director of India’s first solar mission Aditya L-1 and ensured its successful launch from Sriharikota on September 2.

Nigar Shaji’s family
Nigar Shaji was born in Sengottai town of Tenkasi district of Tamil Nadu. Her father was Sheikh Meeran who was a farmer and her mother Saitoon Biwi was a homemaker. Nigar Shaji has two children and her husband is also a scientist who works in a Gulf country.

Nigar Shaji’s brother S Sheik Saleem told The New Indian Express, “She resides in Bengaluru and visits Shengottai whenever there are family functions. Shaji’s husband, an engineer, is working in a Gulf country, and her son is also working as a scientist in the Netherlands. Her daughter and our mother are staying with Shaji in Bengaluru. We lost our father 30 years ago.”

Nigar Shaji on Aditya L-1 launch

After the launch of Aditya L-1 was successful, the scientists at ISRO addressed an audience including Nigar Shaji. Shaji said, “This is like a dream come true. I am extremely happy that Aditya L-1 has been injected by PSLV. Aditya L-1 has started its 125 days of long journey. Once Aditya L-1 is commissioned, it will be an asset to the country and the global scientific fraternity. I want to thank the entire team for their support and guidance in making this mission possible”

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