NEW DELHI, Dec 9 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that India’s first Human Space Mission “Gaganyaan” will be launched in 2023.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister said, with this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the major missions viz., Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of 2nd half of 2022. This will be followed by second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human robot developed by ISRO and finally the first crewed Gaganyaan mission in 2023.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that more than 500 Industries are involved in the launch of Gaganyaan with several research modules including indigenous health research module. He said, this was made possible as for the first time in 70 years, the sector has been unlocked for private participation to make India a competitive Space market.
The Minister informed that this is the most ambitious space programme undertaken by ISRO till date and it will give a big boost to the Science and Technology development within the country, besides inspiring the Youth and Satrt-ups to take up bigger challenges and enhance the prestige of the country.
In reply to another question in the same house, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the allocation of funds for R&D for the six major scientific agencies has increased from Rs. 17406.10 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 37823.69 crore in 2021-22, i.e. more than double in last 7 years.
The Minister said, the Government has consistently increased the allocation of funds for investment in R&D in the country. The progressive allocation (Budget Estimate) of funds for six Major Scientific Agencies for the last three years has increased.
On the question that the number of scientists per million people in India is lower as compared to other Asian countries, the Minister informed that as per the latest available UNESCO S&T Statistics, the number of research scientists per million people in India is 255, which is lower than countries such as Korea (7498), Japan (5304), Singapore (2795), Malaysia (2396) and China (1225) but higher than Indonesia (216), Philippines (106), Sri Lanka (106) etc. in Asia.