India has made significant strides in satellite and launcher technology with its space industry growing in value chain, Advisor Department of Space/ISRO Dr K Radhakrishnan said on Wednesday.
The hallmark of Indian space programme is to help humankind through earth-oriented satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation along with an effective institutional tie up with all stakeholders, he said.
"Self-reliance has been our obsession, not just an objective and capacity building in academia has been a priority to foster front-line research", the former ISRO chairman said in his address at the 21st convocation of Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan were India's inflection points on convergence of space science, technology, engineering and mathematics for precise navigation for deep space missions while Lunar lander of Chandrayaan-2 will be a landmark soon and Gaganyaan, commencing human spaceflight to the earth's orbit, would be the next turning point, the space scientist pointed out.
"Space missions are exciting but exacting too. The technology is quite complex with risk management and failure recovery a part of the working. Impact of these space systems on stakeholders - in government, industry and public at large - is quite high", Radhakrishnan said.
India too hurled into this tough domain with an indomitable national vision with enterprising scientist Dr Vikram Sarabhai who saw in space not merely a new avenue of exciting science but a great opportunity to harness science and technology for transforming the life of the country and its people, he said.
A legendary technologist and transformational leader Prof Satish Dhawan stepped in when Dr Sarabhai departed and the duo created a strong organizational edifice at ISRO which went on to build national systems using space technology.
"We recognized the subtle difference between space endeavour and space enterprise. Space commerce became a prominent factor and a vibrant space industry emerged. We became sensitive to space policy, space law and space economics", he added.
A sublime blend of inventive power of youth and wisdom of elders helps to address the complex and large systems in rocket science and "emboldens us to develop systematic resilience to mission failures, technology denials and high risk ventures", Radhakrishnan said.
As a nation, "we still have a long way to move up in science, technology and innovation, though we can be still be proud of several accomplishments of global standards and high national impact, essentially emanating from certain islands of excellence," he added.
IIT,G Director Gautam Biswas in his report presented at the convocation pointed out among other things the major achievement of the institute was its seventh rank among the engineering institutions and ninth among all the participating universities and institutions in the country by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) India Rankings 2019.
Altogether 1352 students received their degrees at the convocation.
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