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HomeFact CheckFact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims The Key Scientist Behind Chandrayaan-3 Is...

Fact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims The Key Scientist Behind Chandrayaan-3 Is A Nepali, India Hid His Contribution

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
The key scientist behind Chandrayaan-3 is a Nepali, India hid his contribution.
Fact
Nirupam Sharma is a Nepali-speaking Indian from Mirik of Darjeeling in West Bengal state. He is not the key scientist behind Chandrayaan.

At a time when India is celebrating the successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft near the moon’s south pole, a video claiming that a secret has been revealed that the man behind building all the parts of Chandrayaan 3 is a Nepali scientist is going viral on TikTok. The video goes on to claim that India hid the contribution of a Nepali scientist in the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, made a successful landing on the Moon’s surface on August 23, making the country only the fourth to achieve the feat.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @bogatikb2468 posted a video with the text superimposed on it reading, “It has been revealed that the man who made India’s Chandrayaan-3 is a Nepali.” The narration presented in a news bulletin style says, “A secret has been revealed that the man behind building all necessary parts of India’s Chandrayaan-3 is a Nepali. The news has sent shockwaves across the world. India hid the contribution of a Nepali scientist.”

The video shows several footage including the movement of spacecraft and Prime Minister Narendra Modi walking and speaking. The footage follows an interview of Nepali speaking man who says, “We have always been feeling proud since our son was selected for the mission in 2017.”

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on August 27 has garnered 15.8k likes, 399 users have shared it and 282 people have commented on it.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them.  The search led us to a video posted on the YouTube channel named Voice of Mirik-Hill News. On checking the video dated 24 August 2023, we found that it was an interview with Bishwokabi Sharma and Bishnu Kala Sharma. They are the parents of Nirupam Sharma, a scientist associated with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) involved in the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The video frame from 2.41-minute onwards exactly matched the clip used in the viral video. The video confirmed that Sharma was a Nepali-speaking Indian from Mirik of Darjeeling in West Bengal state of India.

Further, we found an article published on Sikkim Express online which also confirmed that Nirupam Sharma was a scientist associated with Chandrayaan-3. He was appointed at ISRO in 2017.

We also found an article published on North East Live TV online confirming that Sharma is a native of Mirik in Darjeeling.

Our findings clearly show that Nirupam is not a Nepali citizen but a Nepali-speaking Indian from Darjeeling of India. We checked several articles about the key men behind the Chandrayaan-3, but couldn’t find his name among the key scientists behind the success of the Chandrayaan mission.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that the key scientist behind India’s Chandrayaan-3 is a Nepali is misleading, and the said youth is just an ISRO scientist from Mirik of Darjeeling in West Bengal state of India.

Result: False

 Sources
Voice of Mirik-Hill News, 24 August, 2023
 Sikkim Express, 25 August, 2023
North East Live TV, 24 August, 2023
Indiatimes.com, July 14, 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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