Scenario: Interview for the promotion to “Scientist/ Engineer D”
Panel chairman: Shoots out the initiating question
Interviewee : Oh shit! Couldn’t answer that one
Let me introduce the interviewee. It’s me; Soumen Kumar Das, a CS graduate. I joined ISRO in 2012. Luckily the fiasco in the opening question didn’t dictate the decision of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC)! I got promoted with flying colors and currently continuing over there as a “Scientist/Engineer D”. That gives me a feel that I have some sort of authority to present my holistic experience of spending more than three years at ISRO; solely based on my personal views (and biases, may be :))
“Working life…. Living work in ISRO” – the two phrases, though look similar, there is a thin line in between. Working life in ISRO very much depends on the division and the bosses you are working in and under. In a certain division, if the quantity of work is suitable for ten people, then the division tries to maintain a count of more or less six to seven personnel. So, there is a lot of work to do. Unlike other government sectors jobs, of course, here you will be having more responsibilities and more ways to work at the same time. Nature of bosses does vary, too. A flexible one gives the nature of work as asked by you from the responsibility set. Some are very rigid or helpless to provide so. Some of them are very much unaware of the correct deadline to set and only thinks that providing less time builds up pressure to make the employees work more and more. Some are very cool and if knows that the particular colleague under him is sincere, then does not intervene. Not only bosses, but the peers are enthusiastic and passionate about research and development will never slow you down and keep updated. If all of the above mentioned points are suitable for you, then it can be easily understood that working life will be enjoyable allowing you to thrive your knowledge.
Living work in ISRO depends on the type of work you want vs. the type you get. The aerodynamicist, mechanical, electrical, chemical engineers mostly get interesting and challenging works. But for computer science guys the probability of getting interesting work is a rare event at Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC). Fortunately, I have got an interesting domain allocated where I’m working in high performance computing in the SAGA Supercomputer division in ISRO. I’m playing with hardware, software and their interaction at a finer level. I’m living work here. But, inside any division there are lot of scopes where one can gain new vision, if worthy enough, then from organization one will receive all the required help. Living work has another view mostly people like me. I think many among you will also agree that one can live work life in a very productive manner if his/her home town is within a range of 300 kms. such that, at least, he/she can come back home around weekend. This is possible for very few lucky people for whom their stay at ISRO is very enjoyable.
An engineer and an ISRO engineer is different as far as social and personal lives are concerned. This job requires ones 24×7 involvement at times. You are expected to be there irrespective of time or situation in case of any emergency. Otherwise, the job life is somewhat “cool“. Certainly, ISRO is a brand name which is recognized all over the world. It will specifically be of utmost use if someone works in a valuable project. That way, the brand value of ISRO can be “traded” in research projects. As a Scientist/Engineer, one receives respect and gratitude from others that may enlighten some people. But, the main thing is life will be joyful and happening. Don’t expect any huge compensation or any extra reward as at the end of the day it’s a Government of India job. Salary is comparable to an ordinary central government employee with a pay band 3. Therefore, come and join if you like the prospect above. For recruitment, please check out ISRO website.