Monday, September 27, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021
HomeFact checkViralFalse Claim of Scientist Khushboo Mirza Promoted To Director Of ISRO Goes...

False Claim of Scientist Khushboo Mirza Promoted To Director Of ISRO Goes Viral

A Facebook post claims that a scientist Kushbu Mirza has been promoted to the position of director at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It further states that she’s an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University and the second Muslim scientist to hold the director rank after Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. 

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=3124118971036810&set=gm.1977631375704315

This claim was widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook as well. See examples below:

https://www.facebook.com/k.pandey1234/posts/655919475010618
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=153129953011023&id=101374358186583

Fact Check/ Verification 

Through relevant keyword research on Google we came across a news report from Siasat Daily, a Hyderabad-based Indian newspaper which states that Mirza previously worked with the development team of the Chandrayaan and recently got promoted. 

We also found an Indian Express article from 2008 which details her journey from home to working as one among the 12 engineers of the Check-Out Division for Chandrayaan I. 

Indian Express news article on Khushboo Mirza's journey from her home in Amroha to ISRO.
Indian Express news article on Khushboo Mirza’s journey from her home in Amroha to ISRO

With regard to her position at ISRO, we came across a 2018 directory of officers/ employees at the National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO. Her position in the document is listed as “SCI./ENG.-SE.” 

Scientist Khushboo Mirza listed in the 2018 directory of employees at NRSC
Scientist Khushboo Mirza listed in the 2018 directory of employees at NRSC

Mirza’s work in the Chandrayaan mission was appreciated in a 2018 tweet posted from the official Twitter account of Rashtrapati Bhavan.  

As per the ISRO website, the top position in the organisation is of a Chairman which is currently held by Dr K Sivan. 

Dr K Sivan, Chairman ISRO
Dr K Sivan, Chairman ISRO

Second part of the claim which says that Mirza holds the same rank that Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam did at ISRO is incorrect. In the course of his career as an aerospace scientist, Dr. Kalam contributed and led several projects in the ISRO and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). However, he did not head the organisation in the top position. 

To confirm her alumnus status we cross-checked the Aligarh Muslim University webiste and found her name listed in the notable alumni section as “Khushboo Mirza, Scientist-C, ISRO, New Delhi.”

List of notable alumni Of Aligarh Muslim University

We’ve reached out to ISRO asking for clarification on the contents of this claim. This fact check will be updated when we receive a response from them. 

Conclusion

Our preliminary research shows that Khushboo Mirza is an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University and a scientist at ISRO. Although she wasn’t promoted to the director position nor does she hold the same rank as Dr. Kalam did during his time with the organisation. 

Result: Partly False

Our Sources

Siasat news report: Khushboo Mirza, ISRO scientist gets promoted

Indian Express story: https://archive.indianexpress.com/news/amroha-girl-chose-jeans-not-burqa-joined-isro/376807/

NRSC: https://www.nrsc.gov.in/sites/default/files/pdf/Annexure_11.pdf

Official tweet: https://twitter.com/rashtrapatibhvn/status/971304748958797826?s=20

ISRO: https://www.isro.gov.in/about-isro/chairman-isro-secretary-dos

Aligarh Muslim University: https://www.amu.ac.in/showloa.jsp?did=32

DataQuest: https://www.dqindia.com/contribution-apj-abdul-kalam-isro-drdo/


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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