The announcement came as a surprise to many people within ISRO, the country's space agency.
Two weeks ago, Indian media reported a fire at the Space Application Centre (SAC) of ISRO in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Although it was a big fire, it was in an isolated building and no spacecraft was damaged.
TeamIndus, India’s only entry for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, just announced their launch contract with ISRO. If successful, TeamIndus would be the first private company from India to land a craft on an extraterrestrial body.