A viral message doing the rounds of social media claims that a 21-year-old drone scientist called Prathap has been appointed as a scientist for the Defence Research and Development Organisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BOOM spoke to Prathap, who denied that he was offered a job by the prime minister as a DRDO scientist. Furthermore, Prathap does not have a Master's degree yet, which is a minimum requirement to obtain an entry level job as a scientist at the DRDO.
Twitter user Amit Singh Rajawat (@satya_AmitSingh) shared an image of Prathap in a thread with a caption saying, "Interesting story of DRDO Scientist appointed by PM Narendra Modi. He is Pratap aged 21 years. He travels 28 days in a month to foreign countries.France has invited him to join their Organisations for which he will be provided with monthly salary of Rs 16 Lakhs, 5 BHK house, and Car worth 2.5Cr.But he simply declined. PM Modi has honored him with suitable award and has asked DRDO to absorb him."
The rest of the thread provided details about the hardships faced by Prathap, and his inspirational journey to becoming a scientist. Click here to view the entire thread.
The same post was also found being shared on Facebook.
We did a Google search with keywords like "pratap drdo scientist", and came across an article by the Deccan Herald, which spoke of a 22-year drone scientist from a village called Mandya in Karnataka, who provided his drones to the National Disaster Response Force for rescue operations during the floods in Karnataka in August last year. The article carried a picture of the same person whose image is currently going viral.
BOOM reached out to Prathap who claimed that while most of the content of the thread was true, the claim around DRDO absorbing him was not. "I just got a call from New Delhi to meet some people for a project but I am not sure what it is about. Officially I think the prime minister cannot appoint anybody, and I did not get any appointment from him at the DRDO," he said.
Prathap also claimed that the rest of the message was true. "I did get an offer from France with the salary and perks as mentioned in the message, but I refused as I wanted to set up a lab in Bengaluru," he said. BOOM could not independently verify these claims. Prathap currently works for a Bengaluru-based startup called Aerowhale Space and Tech.
Furthermore, according to Indian government's Recruitment and Assessment Center, to be recruited into the organisation as a scientist at the entry-level, once must have a First Class Master's degree in Science Subjects, Mathematics or Psychology or First Class Degree in Engineering or Technology or Metallurgy from a recognized University or Equivalent.
Prathap, however, has not yet attained his Master's degree, which he confirmed to us over a phone call. Would he be interested in working for the DRDO once he has the required qualifications? "Yes, definitely," he says.
BOOM reached out to DRDO for a comment, and the article will be updated upon getting a response.