Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology at Chandigarh University inaugurated

Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology at Chandigarh University inaugurated

Raksha Mantri inaugurates Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology | Image Source: Ministry of Defence

 Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST) at Chandigarh University on 03 January 2022. He also launched a Scholarship Scheme, worth Rs 10 crore, for the wards of Defence Personnel of the three Services.

In his address, Shri Rajnath Singh described the establishment of the Research Centre as an important step towards strengthening the space sector of the country by stressing that it is only through these efforts that India can become a leader in future technologies. He likened the KCCRSST with ‘pride of India’ Kalpana Chawla, hoping that this research facility would touch new heights of success, like the remarkable achievements of the late India-born astronaut who brought universal recognition to her country of origin.

“In the 21st century, the future of India can be secured only when you have a gleam in your eyes to reach the stars and planets. More Indians like Aryabhatta, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and Kalpana Chawla will emerge from amongst you all if you eye different planets and constellations,” the Raksha Mantri told the students present on the occasion.

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Underlining the importance of the space sector in today’s times, Shri Rajnath Singh said, it is deeply connected with mapping, imaging and connectivity facilities, speedy transportation, weather forecast, disaster management as well as border security, adding that it played a crucial role in keeping the world connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, from testing to data-transfer & analyses. The Government understands the potential of the space sector, he added, recalling the four major pillars of reforms in the sector envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. These pillars are freedom of innovation to the private sector; role of the government as an enabler; preparing the youth for the future and viewing the space sector as a resource for progress. 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.

The Raksha Mantri called for an active and long-term public-private partnership to take the education & 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 Government’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, Shri Rajnath Singh said, the Government is sharing technology & expertise and opening its various facilities for the industry. He stated that transfer of matured technologies is under consideration. On the setting up of 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 Raksha Mantri added that the Government is laying special emphasis on promoting the use of space-based applications through every sector. Use of geo-tagging for roads and other infrastructure in villages, monitoring of development works 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.

Shri Rajnath Singh 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. He stressed that progress in space technology will develop scientific temper in the youth of the country and India will move forward in frontier technologies.

Remembering late India-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Shri Rajnath Singh described her as a symbol of women empowerment, who took a flight beyond imagination. He urged the people to maintain her zeal & enthusiasm and motivate their daughters to go ahead & touch unimaginable heights, echoing the Government’s vision of increased participation of women in all sectors.

Established with the objective of training students in space science, satellite development and meet future challenges in space research, the state-of-the-art KCCRSST would be the Ground Control Station for the Chandigarh University’s Student Satellite (CUSat), an in-house developed nanosatellite being designed by the students at the university and a Geo-Spatial Centre for research, besides other projects.

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