India is undertaking such reforms in space sector which were not thought about earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Monday said as he underlined the crucial role played by the sector during Covid-19 pandemic in keeping the world connected from testing to data-transfer and analysis, Trend reports citing The Indian Express.
“The government understands the potential of the space sector. We are undertaking such reforms in space sector which were not even thought about earlier. The major pillars of reforms in the sector as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are: freedom of innovation to the private sector, the role of the government as an enabler, preparing the youth for the future and viewing the space sector as a resource for progress,” Rajnath said.
He hoped that the actions identified in the pillars will take the space sector to newer heights and give new direction to the country’s progress.
Rajnath was addressing students after inaugurating the Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST) at Chandigarh University where he also launched a scholarship scheme worth Rs 10 crore for the wards of personnel of the three services.
Underlining the importance of the space sector in contemporary times, he said it is deeply connected with mapping, imaging and connectivity facilities, speedy transportation, weather forecast, disaster management as well as border security.
The defence minister likened KCCRSST with ‘pride of India’ Kalpana Chawla, hoping that the research facility will touch new heights of success, similar to the remarkable achievements of the late India-born astronaut who brought universal recognition to her country of origin.
Quoting India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Singh said, “When I want to know the future of India, I do not look at stars and planets, but into the eyes of little children. If their eyes are bright and full of hope, the future of India is safe, Nehru had once said”.
“More Indians like Aryabhatta, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and Kalpana Chawla will emerge from amongst you all if you eye different planets and constellations,” he told the students .
He also called for an active and long-term public-private partnership to take the education and science sectors to a global level and make India a knowledge economy. “Today, the private sector is exposed to a large number of opportunities in the space sector. Whether it is defence or space, we are fully welcoming the private sector,” he said, reiterating the Centre’s commitment of strengthening the private sector for the holistic development of the nation.
Listing out some of the measures aimed at tapping the potential of the private sector, and said, the government is sharing technology and expertise and opening its various facilities for the industry. He stated that transfer of matured technologies is under consideration.
On setting up of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), he said, the independent agency will act as a single window for matters related to the space sector. “The government is laying special emphasis on promoting the use of space-based applications through every sector, including use of geo-tagging for roads and other infrastructure in villages, monitoring of development work in remote areas through satellite imagery, and identifying problems related to crops and fields for farmers is helping the government in many ways,” he added.
The Union minister also called for working towards development of futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big-Data and Block-chain for the overall development of the nation.
Describing Kalpana Chawla as a symbol of women empowerment who “took a flight beyond imagination”, Rajnath urged the people to maintain her zeal and enthusiasm and motivate their daughters to go ahead and touch unimaginable heights.
He also commended the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for being one of the world’s top space agencies since decades through its hard work and vision. He lauded the Chandigarh University for its work in research and innovation and described the achievements as a symbol of the increasing participation of the private sector in the field of education.
Chancellor of Chandigarh University Satnam Singh Sandhu, scientists, faculty and students were present at the inauguration of the KCCRSST.
Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology
The Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology has been established with the objective of training students in space science, satellite development and meet future challenges in space research.
The state-of-the-art facility will be the Ground Control Station for the Chandigarh University’s Student Satellite (CUSat), an in-house developed nano-satellite being designed by the students of the university and a Geo-Spatial Centre for research, besides other projects. The CUSat will be among the 75 student-built satellites to be launched into space on the eve of the Independence Day in 2022.
The Chandigarh University is the first university in North India to design and develop its own satellite. For the project, 75 students of the University have been working on the CUSat project under the guidance of eminent Indian scientists.
With the launch of CUSat, Punjab will become the first border state in India to have its own satellite in space. The CUSat will will collect data related to border intrusion detection, agriculture, weather forecasting, natural disaster forecasting, which will be helpful in research and study of various problems in these areas. In addition, the GCS will help develop satellite research facilities and launch satellites in countries that do not have developed satellite technology.