The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
has said that the remarkable team work and output shown by Indian Space
Research Organization (ISRO) over the years is a model for other departments
and institutions. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the week
long celebrations of World Space Week, in SHAR, Sriharikoga, Andhra Pradesh
today. The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Chairman,
ISRO, Shri Kiran Kumar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

 

The Vice President said that his heart swells with
pride with India’s prowess in space Technology as country marches ahead to
conquer new frontiers in space exploration. It is a double delight to him to be
here as this internationally-renowned rocket launching site is located in his
native district of Nellore, he added.

 

The Vice President said that a thousand years ahead
of Europeans, Indian savants knew that the zero and infinity were mutually
inverse notions. He further said that with the launch of the first sounding
rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station (TERLS) in 1963 and the
first Satellite, Aryabhata in 1975, India has made giant strides and has
emerged today as one of the leading space faring nations in the Leadership of
visionaries like Prof. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and former
President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

 

The Vice President said that by putting 104
satellites into orbit in one go and placing the heaviest Indian satellite,
GSAT-19 weighing 3,136 kg in its orbit earlier this year, India’s space
scientists and technologists have not only done the country proud but made the
world to sit up and take note of its accomplishments. It is not a question of
mere Technological advancement, but achieving launch after launch successfully
at much lesser costs of similar missions in advanced countries which makes
every Indian proud, he added.

 

The Vice President said that this space port on the
spindle-shaped island is one of the busiest satellite launch centres in the
world and catering to global needs by truly epitomising India’s philosophy of
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. He further said that all the activities of ISRO have
been centred on societal applications.  ISRO now stands as one of the most
reputed and leading space agencies in the world and is a huge source of
inspiration to students and young and upcoming scientists, he added.

 

The Vice President made a visit to the Vehicle
Assembling Unit at the SHAR.

 

Following is the text of Vice
President’s address
:

 

ISRO Chairman, Shri
Kiran Kumar, distinguished scientists, brothers and sisters!

 

As I step into this busy space port at Sriharikota, my heart
swells with pride. It symbolises India’s prowess in space technology as the
country marches ahead to conquer new frontiers in space exploration. It is a
living monument to the efforts of scores of visionaries, thousands of engineers
and scientists who made this possible; who dared to dream and shape that dream
into reality.

 

In fact, it is a double delight to me to be here because this
internationally-renowned rocket launching site is located in my native district
of Nellore.

 

As I was coming here, I was just thinking how cosmology,  
creation of universe, sun, moon, stars, galaxies and planets have fascinated
man from times immemorial.

 

Indeed the concept of time and space, cosmology, creation of
universe is not new to Indians. The celebrated astrophysicist Carl Sagan
pointed out that Hinduism is the only religion in which the time scales
correspond, no doubt by accident, to those of modern scientific cosmology.” Its
cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64
billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half
the time since the Big Bang,” said Sagan. Many other scholars and savants from
India and other countries studied the role of science in ancient India.

 

French historian of mathematics, Georges Ifrah, who is the
author of the book, ‘Universal History of Numbers’ said: “ The Indian mind has
always had for calculations and the handling of numbers an extraordinary
inclination, ease and power, such as no other civilisation in history ever
possessed to the same degree. So much so that Indian culture regarded the science
of numbers as the noblest of its arts. A thousand years ahead of Europeans,
Indian savants knew that the zero and infinity were mutually inverse notions”.

 

Since the baby steps with the launch of the first sounding
rocket from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station (TERLS) in 1963 and the
first Satellite, Aryabhata in 1975, India has made giant strides and has
emerged today as one of the leading space faring nations, thanks to visionaries
like Prof. Vikram Sarabhai, Prof. Satish Dhawan and former President, Dr.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. By putting 104 satellites into orbit in one go and placing
the heaviest Indian satellite, GSAT-19 weighing 3,136 kg in its orbit earlier
this year, India’s space scientists and technologists have not only done the
country proud but made the world to sit up and take note of its
accomplishments. It is not a question of mere technological advancement, but
achieving launch after launch successfully at much lesser costs of similar
missions in advanced countries which makes every Indian proud. As many as 209
foreign satellites from 28 countries were launched in missions undertaken by
ISRO. 

 

ISRO scientists have also achieved what others could not
do—putting spacecraft in orbit around Mars in the very first attempt—a
remarkable feat indeed! While mentioning about low cost, the one thing
that comes to my mind, not only mine but of  every Indian, is the
prestigious Mars Orbiter Mission which has taken India to the red planet at a
much lower cost compared to other space agencies and that too in the maiden
attempt, which is indeed a unique achievement. I appreciate the dedicated
efforts put in by all of you in achieving the historic milestone. I am
extremely happy that today you are having the men behind that mission, Shri
A.S. Kiran Kumar, your Chairman and Shri P. Kunhikrishnan, your Director to
lead you to greater heights and bring more and more laurels to the
nation. Only some days ago, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completed three
years. 

 

Another proud achievement was the discovery of water on moon by
Chandrayaan-1. 

 

Today, this space port on the spindle-shaped island is one of
the busiest satellite launch centres in the world and catering to global needs
by truly epitomising India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. All the
activities of ISRO have been centred around societal applications.  ISRO
now stands as one of the most reputed and leading space agencies in the world
and is a huge source of inspiration to students and young and upcoming
scientists. 

 

From communication to weather forecasting to teleMedicine and
disaster warning, ISRO’s efforts have enabled our nation to achieve
self-Reliance in most of our communication and earth observation requirements
and helped in enhancing the living standards of the people.  I am aware that
 weather predictions by ISRO Satellites when cyclones like Phylon and
Hudhud hit Odisha coast led to saving of many lives. ISRO’s contributions were
also recorded with gratitude during the recent Vardhah Cyclone for timely and
accurate prediction. 

 

India was lucky that the country’s space programme took wings
under the visionary leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. In his autobiography,
‘Wings of Fire’, former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said: “I consider Prof.
Sarabhai as the Mahatma Gandhi of Indian Science — generating leadership
qualities in his team and inspiring them through both ideas and example”. I am
glad his great vision is still being carried forward by all of you with India
being second to none in using Advanced Technology for exploring new frontiers
and to ultimately benefit the common man, which should be the basic objective
of any science-related activity.  Some of you here must have also had the
privilege of working with Dr. Kalam, who had worked with single-minded devotion
for the success of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle, SLV-3 and also with
Prof. Satish Dhawan, among others— all of whom had contributed immensely with
their Management and leadership styles towards the rapid strides India achieved
in the space Sector.

 

Extending support to South Asian countries with the launch of a
dedicated satellite, GSAT-9 by GSLV-F09, is another commendable achievement of
ISRO.  I am happy that ISRO had a very successful mission of heavy lift
launcher GSLV Mk3 in the first attempt itself. We are also in the elite club of
nations having cryogenic and re-entry technologies. The remarkable team work
and output shown by this organization over the years is a model for other
departments and institutions. After showing to the world how excellence could
be achieved at minimal costs, I am told that you are immediately planning your
second mission to moon, including a lander and a rover for scientific
experiments.  I also learnt that you have plans to reach the sun, like
Adithya mission, and you are also developing technologies for Human Space
programme. 

 

Before coming to this function, I visited the huge facilities
being built at SHAR to meet the challenging demands of the future.. There, I
could understand the dedicated and untiring efforts that went into the launch
of three different launch vehicles in the shortest time span of two months. I
wholeheartedly appreciate each one of you for that. At this juncture, I
recollect my earlier visit to this place with Honourable Prime Minister, when
Shri Kunhikrishnan explained the details of French satellite, SPOT-7 mission by
our PSLV-C23 as the Project Director.  Now, when he is the Director, I
could see that SHAR is undergoing a massive Infrastructure development, under
the guidance of Chairman, ISRO, to meet the future requirements. 

 

I am informed that once the second vehicle Assembly building,
which is three times bigger than the present one, is commissioned and
augmentation of other facilities is completed, the number of launches per year
can be more than doubled, leading to self-reliance in space launch. I once
again laud all of you for your skills, knowledge, dedication and sincerity over
the years for the various milestones achieved by ISRO.

 

I am told that various outreach programmes like quizzes and essay
competitions, exhibition and arranging visits to school students are being
organized during the World Space Week. Such programmes will increase the
awareness on space-related activities among the youngsters and inspire them. I
also appreciate the steps you are taking to reach out to every nook and corner
of this state and the neighbouring states to encourage and attract young minds.

 

Today, I am happy to be with you in Sriharikota for the
inaugural function of this week long celebration of World Space Week. I am also
happy to have the presence of Shri Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO who is leading
this great organisation to laudable heights. My Best wishes for the success of
all your future endeavours.

 

JAI HIND!”

***

KSD/BK