Encouragement of Young Minds to Study Space

Encouragement of Young Minds to Study Space

The Department of Space (DOS) has taken the following measures for encouraging young minds towards space science research:

i) ISRO Space Science Promotion Scheme (ISRO-SSPS) is an initiative intended towards supporting and strengthening of research in space science in universities. The scheme, initiated during 2008-09 period, includes - M.Sc / M.Tech fellowships to meritorious students, one time grant for laboratory augmentation and support for visiting scientists / guest faculties.

ii) ISRO’s Sponsored Research (RESPOND) Programme is intended for encouraging academia, Junior Research Fellows, young researchers to participate & contribute in various space programme related research activities in Indian universities and institutes.

iii) The space science and planetary missions, viz. Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, ASTROSAT, undertaken by ISRO renew the interest of young minds towards space science.

iv) Department of Space regularly organises workshops, exhibitions and outreach programmes to create excitement amongst students in space science and technology.

The Department of Space has established Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Deemed University at Thiruvananthapuram, to provide specialised education in the areas of space technology. The institute is the first of its kind in the country to offer high quality education at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels in the areas related to space science & technology and its applications.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha today.


Popularity of Government Portal Bhuvan

ISRO’s BHUVAN (www.bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in) is a well known national geo-portal, which is being widely, used by the Government, public, NGOs and Academia. Bhuvan is developed with a clear focus of addressing Indian requirements of satellite Images and theme-oriented services to enable planning, monitoring and evaluation of stakeholder’s activities in governance and development. Bhuvan provides nation-wide seamless ortho-corrected image base, thematic datasets for many natural resources, transport network, Digital Surface Model, hydrologic base from basin to watershed, 10 Million Points of Interest (POI) data. Bhuvan services include visualisation of remote sensing data (India-centric), free satellite data download, geophysical products, host of thematic services and customised application tools for Government data collaboration and enabling G-governance. It also renders near real-time data and information support towards management of natural disasters in the country.

Some of the basic statistics of Bhuvan usage indicates that the portal is gaining importance in the country. In less than 6 years of its existence, it has more than 70,000 registered users; 800 GB of data is transacted per month and it witnesses 60 Million hits per month. About 4.6 lakh satellite data products, including derived products, have been downloaded by users. The ortho-corrected images and seamless thematic databases are being consumed, as a service in public domain, by many organisations. The customised application tools and datasets are being used by more than 30 Central Ministries and about 20 State Governments in various sectors, which include, land & water resources, agriculture, forestry, watershed, urban & infrastructure development, environment, de-centralised planning, asset geo-tagging & mapping, including monitoring of G-governance programmes.

Bhuvan is designed, developed, deployed and managed by a small team of scientists within ISRO. It primarily focuses on societal-benefits and is not a commercial venture. On the contrary, Google Earth is a commercial enterprise with a large investment & large resource base and makes a huge business through advertisements and products. Google has a definite business model (in positioning & maintaining very high resolution satellite images) that is directly dealt with satellite operators/ services providers. The business model that is being operated is not in the public domain. Google Earth does provide very high to high resolution remote sensing data (World-wide) for visualisation with advanced value added services, but does not provide India specific seamless multi-thematic GIS data sets, free satellite data downloads and customised application tools for government data collaboration.

Thus, Bhuvan and Google Earth are two different platforms developed for different purposes and objectives.

Department of Science & Technology has taken the following measures in respect of Survey of India (SOI):

i) Indian Institute of Surveying & Mapping (IISM) infrastructure is being revamped to improve basic training/teaching in IISM, Hyderabad so as to impart training to the officers and staff of SOI to keep abreast of state-of-the-art techniques in surveying and mapping.

ii) Optimal use of space borne earth observation data for generating topographical and other geo-spatial data for use in preparing user specific products from SOI.

iii) Focus on the primary geospatial data collection with a view to maintain the temporally accurate departmental geospatial data.

Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has taken following measures in respect of C-DAC:

i) Originally established to carry out research and to develop High Performance Computing, the R&D of C-DAC has expanded to various other areas such as grid and cloud computing, multilingual computing, heritage computing, professional electronics including VLSI and embedded systems, cyber security and cyber forensics, health informatics, software technologies and education related to these technologies.

ii) In the area of High Performance Computing (HPC) & Grid Computing, C-DAC is playing an important role in building HPC technologies and developing software parallelisation tools and solutions for Science & Engineering applications.

iii) Further, C-DAC has now been entrusted with the implementation of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) announced by Government of India.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha today.


Deployment of Regional Positioning System

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has undertaken a project for developing an indigenous regional positioning system for India known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

IRNSS consists of seven satellites in a constellation, three satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GSO). The objective of IRNSS is to provide positioning and navigational services for India and surrounding region up to 1500 Km, with an absolute position accuracy of better than 20 metres.

Out of the 7 satellites required in the constellation, five satellites namely, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D & 1E have already been operationalised in-orbit. Remaining two satellites, IRNSS-1F & 1G are planned to be placed in orbit by March/April 2016. With regard to ground infrastructure to operate IRNSS constellation, all primary facilities have been established. Establishment of backup navigation and timing centres is in progress. Two ranging and integrity monitoring stations are contemplated in Indonesia and Mauritius, for which the work is under progress. A budget of Rs 1420 crores has been approved by the Government for the realisation of IRNSS programme including satellites and associated ground segment.

The benefits of IRNSS programme include – (i) establishing India’s own independent navigational satellite system providing position, navigation and timing services and (ii) enabling applications in the areas viz. terrestrial, aerial & marine navigation, vehicle tracking, fleet management, precision timing services for power grid synchronisation etc.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha today.

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