55 StartUps registered with ISRO, 75 students' satellites being launched: Dr Jitendra Singh

Srinagar among possible venues for maiden National Science Conclave
Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh
Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh File/ GK

New Delhi: Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday stated that over 55 Startups were registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, in just about two years since the Indian Space Department and the ISRO were opened to the private sector, on the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also informed, “In addition, 75 students' satellites are scheduled for launch this year to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75th year of India’s Independence.”

Dr Jitendra, who is also Union Minister of State (independent charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (independent charge) Earth Sciences besides MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, was chairing the 4th joint meeting of all the Science Ministries and departments.

During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh conducted a thorough review of draft agenda of the State S&T Ministers Conference to be held in near future and venues like Srinagar, Shimla, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad were discussed for the first ever National Science Conclave.

The Union Minister said that this in itself was a great and a path-breaking progress considering the fact that for all these years, the Department of Space and the ISRO were working without being accessible to others and over two years back, the announcement to open them to private players was hailed by the media as “unlocking" of the Indian Space sector. This, he said, could be possible only because PM Modi had the courage and the conviction to take out of the box decisions in the interest of the nation and to break the obsolete taboos of the past.

Dr Jitendra further informed that out of 55 proposals, 29 were satellite related, 10 for Space Applications and Products, 8 related to Launch Vehicle and 8 about Ground Systems and Research. He said, 9 proposals from the Start-ups were expected to be completed by 2022-23.

He said that it was PM Modi’s vision which created history by unlocking India's potential in the space sector, thus paving the way to transform skill, capacity and creativity to make the country self-reliant and technologically advanced.

Secretary Department of Space, S Somnath gave details of 75 students' satellites and Azadisat scheduled for launch this year to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75th year of India’s Independence.

Dr Jitendra also informed in the joint meeting that priority implementation of S&T solutions to 204 odd problems from 38 Line Ministries received for Scientific Applications and Technological Solutions by all the six S&T departments coordinated by CSIR. He said that inputs were received on areas of participation from all departments, while DBT and ISRO had submitted their preference for leading in solution development/deployment for few challenges. He said different scientific applications for sectors like agriculture, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power and coal to name a few were being worked out since the launch of the initiative in September last year.

He also informed that CSIR with the help of North Eastern Council (NEC) identified 50 problem requiring S&T intervention in North Eastern States and the same had been shared with DST and was being shared with the Ministry of DONER. 5 out of 8 NE States had already initiated STI policy formulation.

As far as STI Mapping of States and UTs was concerned the exercise was over in all 28 States and 6 UTs, the Minister informed.

On the issue of unified portal for all fellowship and scholarship schemes, the Minister was informed that a preliminary meeting of members of Working Group from DST and DBT was held on April 4 and mapping of scholarship or Fellowship schemes under Ministry of Science & Technology had been initiated on the lines of recommendation of the Committee chaired by DGCSIR.

The Union Minister also proposed a Science Media Centre, which would function as an inter-ministerial integrated media Cell for all S&T departments and Vigyan Prasar would be merged into it. He asked the departments and officials present to showcase success stories of departments and start-ups and to promote them wherever possible. He also directed that workshops on success stories must be organized at regular intervals.

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