India is not a poor country: ISRO chief defends space programme amid criticism

Bengaluru, PTI | Updated : 26 August 2019, 09:59 PM
ISRO chief K Sivan (Centre) (Photo: Twitter/@ISRO)
ISRO chief K Sivan (Centre) (Photo: Twitter/@ISRO)

In an apparent rebuttal to those questioning India's space programme in the face of its battle against poverty, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)Chairman K Sivan on Monday the country was doing well economically and its resources should be used for the benefit of common man.

"Today, opportunities are many and people are thinking that India is poor. And why the space technology is required for a poor country like India? Do you think India is poor? India is not at all poor," he said.

India's economy was seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power, he said in his address at the convocation of ceremony of the Jain Deemed-to-be University in Bengaluru.

"...we are number one in remote sensing satellite, we are the second largest producer of wheat, and the second largest producer of rice. Our IT industry is enviable in the world, the ISRO chief said.

The scientist said today every moment of our life was one way or other connected with space technology. Underlining that India needed to make use of its resources for the benefit of the common man, Sivan spoke about about the importance of innovations and asked the students to never junk their crazy ideas as most of the best innovations emerged from them.

He also advised them to get inspired by great people and avoid emulating them as they will never come up with innovative ideas. Sivan reminded students that conquering personal fear, taking calculated risk and innovation and rational thinking would play a major role in their lives.

In this context, he said starting a space programme in India in 1960 was a big crazy idea but Dr Vikram Sarabhai foresaw the potential of the space technology in transforming the country.

When the whole world was using space for military domination, Dr Sarabhai thought that for a country like India, which has immense size and diversity, a space technology platform was the only suitable platform to fast track development. The results are for all of you to see," he said.

First Published: Monday, August 26, 2019 09:56 PM
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