(This was originally posted in The Hindustan Times by Bishnu K Jha)
Padma Shri decorated aeronautical scientist Manas Bihari Verma, who played a key role in the development of the country’s first Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’, died of heart attack in Bihar’s Darbhanga district on Monday. He was 78. The scientist had closely worked with former president APJ Abdul Kalam. People close to Verma’s family said he died after suffering a massive heart attack at around 11.45 pm at his home at K M Tank locality of Laheriasarai in Darbhanga town.
Expressing grief, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar tweeted: “The demise of the famous scientist Padma Shri Manas Bihari Verma ji is very sad. His death has caused irreparable damage to the science world. The nation will always remember his contribution. May God grant peace to the departed soul.” “Verma was deeply involved in LCA project definition and under his guidance, the requirement of full-scale engineering development (FSED), phase-I activities, were achieved,” Narayan Jee Choudhary, a social activist and close associate of Dr Verma, said. Verma was awarded the Padma Shri in 2018.
ABOUT HAL TEJAS
The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.