A social media post claiming that scientist Khushboo Mirza, an alumna of Aligarh Muslim University has been promoted as a director at the ISRO is being widely shared across social media platforms. The post which shares the photo of Mirza further claims that Mirza is only the second Indian Muslim after former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to hold the post. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Khushboo Mirza, an alumna of Aligarh Muslim University has been promoted as a director at the ISRO. She is only the second Indian Muslim after former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Fact: While it is true that Khushboo Mirza is part of the ISRO’s Chandrayaan missions 1 & 2, she is not promoted to the rank of director at the ISRO. Khushboo Mirza categorically rejected the claim that she has been promoted to the director rank in ISRO. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Google search with relevant keywords yielded multiple Hindi regional news articles which reported about Khushboo Mirza selection into the research team of the prestigious Chandrayaan- 2 mission of ISRO. According to these articles, Khushboo Mirza, an alumna of Aligarh Muslim University hails from the Amroha district in Uttar Pradesh. She has also been part of the checkout team of Chandrayaan-1. These news articles can be read here, here, and here.
In fact, back in 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind through a tweet praised Khushboo Mirza for her role in the Chandrayaan mission.
However, in her correspondence with Quint regarding the viral claim, Khushboo Mirza rejected the claim that she has been promoted to the director rank in ISRO and further stated that such claims have been made in the past as well.
Also, the head of ISRO is called the chairman and not the director. Although Dr Kalam headed various positions at ISRO including Project Director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle in 1980, he never held the top position at ISRO.
To sum it up, Khushboo Mirza has not been promoted as a director at ISRO.