India’s space programme built on spectacular failures : Sivan

CHENNAI : Indian Space Reserarch Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Sivan on Saturday said every failures would provide valuable lesson and the India’s space program has been built on spectacular failures as it resulted in improvements in the system.
Delivering the 16th Convocation address at the SRM University at suburban Kattankulathur here, he exhorted the students to take calculated risks to safeguard from absolute failure.
”The most important thing is to take calculated risks. When you take calculated risks, you safeguard yourself from absolute failure. You may fail, but each failure will provide valuable lesson”, he said.
”I can say with great confidence that India’s space program has been built on spectacular failures. Each failure has resulted in improvements in our system”, Dr Sivan, who is also the Secretary, Department of Space, said.
He said the second important thing is innovation. ”Innovation is not just having a bright idea on paper. Innovation is how you implement that idea. Innovation comes with a high risk of failure. You may be called crazy, and the initial outcomes of innovation could be imperfect”.
”I need not tell you, how many times Edison failed to invent light bulb. You all must realize that if you are not failing then you are not trying hard”, he said.
Observing that Innovation today has become a strategy to remain relevant and competitive, the ISRO Chairman said innovation has emerged as the biggest survival strategy.
Pointing out that India aspires to be a Nation with sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth, Dr Sivan said the first focus area that need to be prioritized was high tech manufacturing.
More efforts should be made towards private and public sector partnerships and joint ventures to benefit from investments and technology transfer and increase skills among workers to make them more employable, he noted.
”Towards this Government has already announced space sector reforms for greater participation of non-governmental entities in space activities”, he said, adding, ISRO’s next PSLV launch will have satellites from start-up agencies as first product of these reforms.
The second priority is to train and attract world-class talent. India’s growing economy, focus on technology-intensive sectors and the changing nature of employment will drive demand for high-quality talent, Dr Sivan said.
The ‘Digital India’ initiative is another key area to leverage and ISRO has already initiated reforms to make its digital assets available easily to industry as well as start-ups for making innovative applications in navigation, earth observation as well as disaster management.
As India continues to focus on economic growth, it needs to ensure that environmental damage is limited by adopting green technologies. ISRO has done the technology transfer of its space grade lithium-ion batteries to industry.
This technology is useful for mass adoption of electrical vehicles without remaining perpetually dependent on foreign sources, he said.
Even in rocket propulsion, ISRO is developing green propulsion for its human spaceflight mission. In future, all the propulsive stages may adopts green propulsion, Dr Sivan said.
Dr Sivan concluded his address by telling the students ”shoot for the sky. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams. And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes and make the world a more interesting place.” (UNI)