Over the past few days, MT has been following the controversy surrounding Belenso T Yimchunger’s alleged contributions to ISRO’s Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology, striving to present all sides of the story without bias. As a responsible media house committed to truth and transparency, and also to protect the credibility and integrity of the scientific community, we feel compelled to share our findings, which uncover several discrepancies.

MT initially spoke with Belenso T Yimchunger on March 26, 2024, prompted by an ISRO letter (now proven to be fake) purportedly felicitating him alongside two other individuals. Following this, MT sought an interview with Belenso.

When asked about his journey from Pungro to his involvement in projects like creating automatic lights and collaborating with ISRO, Belenso remarked, “The journey from Pungro to contributing to projects like creating automatic lights and eventually working with ISRO has been incredibly rewarding. It all started with a passion for innovation and a desire to make a difference.”

Based on various media reports and Belenso’s LinkedIn account, MT established that after completing higher secondary education, Belenso trained at the Nagaland Tool Room & Training Centre (NTTC) in Dimapur as an Assistant Electrician. He later pursued a diploma at the National Institute of Technology in Chumoukedima, Nagaland. In 2023, he was appointed as a Soil Scientist under the India Science, Technology and Innovation program.

MT published this report in our March 27 , 2024 edition and shared it with Belenso, but no clarification was received from him. It was only during our course of investigation that we learned that NIT Nagaland does not offer diploma courses.

About three months later, on June 25, Sidharth M.P., a journalist and Principal Correspondent at WION News, challenged Belenso’s contributions to ISRO’s RLV project on X (formerly known as Twitter) when the news platform “The Better India” published his achievements.

Familiar with him, MT reached out to Belenso for his response. He maintained that Sidharth’s findings were untrue, adding, “Our team, composed of members working in various technology companies, collaborated to develop and submit this project to ISRO. ISRO has reviewed our submission and derived valuable insights from it. However, there is some confusion because it is not widely known that we also contributed to the project.”

Belenso also provided an alleged confidential video claiming it showed his projects, stating he was under orders not to disclose much information. Respecting confidentiality, MT did not share the video publicly. MT published his side of the story with the title, “Dr Belenso clarifies allegations amid controversy over ISRO contributions” on 25 June.

However, on June 27, East Mojo reconfirmed that the ISRO letter was fake.

MT further reached out to him for his views on this report. He maintained that the articles were fake.

Around 6:46 pm on June 27, another person claiming to be his associate called MT, stating, “He (Belenso) himself is innocent. We do not know who is behind all this because we don’t know who is using ISRO’s email credited to him. After 3-4 months, we came to know that the gratitude message from ISRO was fake. Therefore, as he is also somebody who innovates, he thought that was it because people keep on coming and people keep on lauding him and what not.”

The person also said, “Until now, ISRO has not contacted him. He does not hold any PhD degree as such, but he has been given an honorary doctorate. Whether it is fake or not, it is not confirmed as of now.”

In that conversation, MT said, “If that is the truth, because we do not wish to assassinate a character, kindly get ready with a clarification message narrating the entire sequence of events and send it to the media houses.”

Subsequently, Belenso called MT, acknowledging the gratitude letter from ISRO was “fake” after consulting with East Mojo. Later, a person claiming to be his cousin said Belenso was not in a condition to talk but would wish to send a clarification.

Belenso provided a clarification stating, “I’ve created a Pungro Power Soil and it was published in Medias which made rounds for a while. Weeks later I received an email from ISRO stating that they have seen my project and asked whether I can help them in possible contributions towards the project PLV LEX 02. Therefore, it got me excited to help them out and sent sample videos of my project design through that same mail. A month later I have received that particular gratitude letter (now declared fake) which is doing rounds these days,” he continued.

“Even the mails have been taken down and I cannot retrieve it back. I came to realize that it was fake and I was being framed only after the recent encounter from the WION journalist. Whatever project that I’ve created from my end is all true.”

MT carried this clarification in our June 28, 2024 edition.

MT’s findings

Following this, MT noticed several discrepancies regarding Belenso’s educational background. On June 29, MT called his cousin to ask whether Belenso had studied at NIT Nagaland and what he had been doing with DST (Department of Science and Technology), as was mentioned in his LinkedIn profile. His cousin suggested it would be better to speak directly with Belenso.

When MT reached out, Belenso said he did not obtain a diploma from NIT Nagaland and has no affiliation with DST. He stated that he attended Nagaland Tool Room & Training Centre (NTTC) and was selected by NIF (National Innovation Foundation) and funded by them, which raised our suspicions significantly. When asked whether he had a certification from NIF, he agreed. MT requested a picture of the NIF certificate but has yet to receive it.

MT further showed screenshots of his LinkedIn, Facebook, and blog where his qualifications and him being employed as a soil scientist at DST were listed. Belenso claimed that those were not his and that he was not aware of their existence.

MT suggested that if all his social media accounts were fake as he claimed, he should lodge an FIR at the nearest police station and provide us with a copy. Belenso replied that he would talk with his family and file an FIR if they agreed, citing his father’s poor health. Meanwhile, MT suggested that if all his social media accounts were fake, he should issue a clarification from his original accounts to his friends and family, but we have yet to see this.

A few hours later, MT discovered that his LinkedIn account page “doesn’t exist” and his blog “Belenso T Yimkhiung” had been removed.

As our doubts grew, MT came across a video of a felicitation program for Belenso T Yimchunger held at a Public Ground on February 9, 2024, honoring him as a Soil Scientist under the India Science Technology and Innovation program, Government of India.

Our sources sent us a screenshot of a name list that included Belenso’s name, which he had uploaded on his now-removed blog. However, the authenticity of the shortlist was found to be dubious.

Here are the discrepancies MT identified in the document:

Incomplete Letterhead: The letterhead “Indian Science Technology & Innovation” has an incomplete letter “n”. When zoomed in, it appears to have been Photoshopped. Additionally, the Hindi letter ” ” is missing from the letterhead.

Non-Existent List and Duplicate Names: The mentioned “List Of The Innovator’s Science And Technology” cannot be found on the official website (https://www.indiascienceandtechnology.gov.in/).

The shortlisted candidates include Serial No 9 and 13 with the same name. Serial No 9 lists the name as Himanshu Dwivedi, and Serial No 13 lists it as Himanshudwivedi, which is highly improbable.

Invalid Website: The website (www.iitee.com) where shortlisted candidates are asked to submit scanned copies of their original documents does not exist.

Error in Grammar: The line asking shortlisted candidates to submit their original documents “on before” December 15, 2023, contains significant grammatical errors, which is unlikely in an official document.

Inconsistent Recruiting Body: The Recruitment Cell (Rectt Cell) from IIT Delhi is mentioned, which is inconsistent with the letterhead from ISTIP.

A copy of this has been mailed to the director of IIT Delhi for verification, and a reply is awaited.

MT subsequently questioned Belenso about how he earned the title of soil scientist. Despite repeated inquiries, Belenso declined to discuss the matter, citing personal family reasons.

When asked about the deleted LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, Belenso claimed he was also trying to find out what happened. He mentioned that his email account had mysteriously logged out by itself and only returned after he rebooted his phone.

Amidst his claims and clarification, as of now, Belenso has not produced the alleged NIF certificates or the Soil Scientist certificate under the India Science Technology and Innovation program, Government of India.

Red flags persist, including the sudden deletion of social media accounts, discrepancies in the shortlisted names, a questionable photo allegedly from ISRO, Belenso’s evasiveness in communication, and inconsistent claims regarding his educational background.

As of 2022, according to a Morung Express report (“Young Naga tech-wizard develops ingenious devices” 16 March 2022), Belenso T Yimchunger is described as a twenty-year-old Arts student with no training in computer programming or electronic engineering.

Therefore, Belenso lacks a background in science and does not hold a BSc degree, rendering him ineligible to appear for the soil scientist exam.

Additionally, Belenso does not possess a medical doctorate or a PhD. The purported letter from ISRO has been declared fake, ruling out any honorary degree. Furthermore, it was made known to us that there have been no exams or recruitments for positions at the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (GoI), ISRO, or DRDO in 2022, 2023, or 2024. Hence, the assertion that he was selected as a Soil Scientist under the India Science, Technology, and Innovation program remains highly dubious.

Thus, MT finds that there is a need for verifiable certificates to substantiate the claims made by Belenso T Yimchunger regarding his credentials as a soil scientist. While his talents and innovations are acknowledged, MT recommends that Belenso provides the necessary documentation to affirm his qualifications. This will help address any concerns about his professional credibility and prevent further speculation.

Mokokchung Times

 

 

4 thoughts on “Is Belenso T Yimchunger really a soil scientist under DST? What are the odds?”
  1. Great Job done with the detailed clarification, thank you for upholding the standards of responsible journalism. Fraudsters like Mr Belenso not only harms their individual reputation but also erodes public trust in science and takes away credibility and discounts the work done by the hard working researchers who puts in years of efforts with very little to no appreciation.

  2. The subsequent time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my option to read, however I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you may repair in case you werent too busy searching for attention.

  3. Mr Belenso Yimchanger should be ashamed of himself declaring that he’s a soil scientist, He has spoilt the image of his tribe (Yimchanger) and Nagas as a whole,
    We thanks the journalist who brought up this fake guy to light, we’re shocked to hear that such types of person claiming to be a scientist was fake,
    Shame on you Mr Belenso Yimchanger

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