Written by Vijaita Singh | New Delhi | Posted: December 24, 2014 2:19 am

The country’s scientist and DRDO chief Avinash Chander on Tuesday invoked mythology to explain the importance of intelligence network, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited Karna’s birth in Mahabharata to suggest “genetic science” existed in India even in ancient times.

Chander, the man behind the Agni series missiles, while addressing the Intelligence Bureau sleuths said “information gathering and intelligence have been emphasised even in Vedas and Puranas”, and invoked “Rig Veda and Atharva Veda” to send across his point that intelligence gathering had to be abreast with technology.

NSA Ajit Doval, new IB chief Dineshwar Sharma and outgoing IB chief Syed Asif Ibrahim were present on the dais when the DRDO chief addressed the function.

Delivering the 27th Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture, Chander, who is also the scientific advisor to the Defence Minister, said, “Information gathering and intelligence have been emphasised even in Vedas and Puranas. We find the invocations in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda, where it talks how the spies of Agni came down from the sky with thousands of eyes. The son of Brahaspati, teacher of gods, Kaccha was sent as a spy to Sukracharya to know the Sanjeevani mantra as explained in Mathsyapurana.” His term expired on December 1, but he was retained for two more years by the NDA government to head the post.

Chander, a IIT graduate, said, “In Sabhaparvam of Mahabharata ‘Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva’ explains the importance of information gathering, establishing the spy network and related instrumentation in connection with the armed forces.”

To make his point, Chander said, “Arthashastra by Kautilya defines it as an integral part of court craft. The first of two chapters on establishing an intelligence system explain five kinds of spies for gathering internal intelligence.”