Categories: EducationNewsScience

The One More Indian Child Got Fellowship From NASA

After Kalpan Chawla, the one more Indian Child got fellowship from NASA. The Sataparna Mukherjee from Madhyamgram who has won a prestigious fellowship under the Goddard Internship Program (GIP) from NASA to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at NASA’s ‘London Astrobiology centre’ and simultaneously study English literature. The news seemed fishy to me at first, but the growing number of news channels and Facebook friends endorsing this article compelled me to dig deeper. I have come across two videos in the process, and the documents displayed in the videos to support this news apalled me. I have carefully analyzed snapshots from the videos and the documents are definitely forged. For the lack of a better platform, I am choosing this medium to bring this to everyone’s notice.

Official Notice:

  1. This link (https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/education/internships.html ) clearly states that the first eligibility criterion to get a NASA fellowship is to be a U.S. citizen. She obviously does not satisfy that.
  2. It is impossible that NASA, a federal government agency of the United States, will fund a foreign citizen to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering as well as English literature at a university in UK.
  3. Ideally this should be proof enough, but I’ll jot down a few more inconsistencies for the sake of completeness.
  4. There is no such thing as NASA’s ‘London Astrobiological Center’ mentioned in news articles and in her offer letter.
  5. There is however, a UK Centre for Astrobiology which is affiliated to NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). NASA being a federal agency of the U.S. has no centre outside the U.S., and Oxford University has no official ties with NASA.
  6.  If you listen to her in the reality show, from 4:25, you can easily conclude that she is talking nonsense. For people who cannot follow, she was asked by the anchor what a black hole is. Her reply translates to: “In Physics, Black Hole is a black body, and in Astrophysics it is a hole through which we can enter the universe! And my theory unites Physics and Astrophysics.” A little later in the show, she participates in a mosquito-net tying competition but unfortunately misses out on a golden opportunity to win a shoe rack!
            Coming back to the point, social media has facilitated the spread of any flashy news like wildfire, irrespective of its veracity. If the journalists are not doing their homework, it becomes our responsibility to verify them ourselves before passing the word on.
            Please treat all eye-catching news with a pinch of salt before believing it. This kind of reporting reduces the credibility of truly deserving achievements.
harsha :