Team ISRO awaits Chandrayaan ‘Wake Up’ call at dawn break: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh replying to the debate on ‘Chandrayaan-3’ in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh replying to the debate on ‘Chandrayaan-3’ in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

‘World looks up towards us for lead’

Avtar Bhat

NEW DELHI, Sept 21 : Union Minister of State with Independent Charge of Science & Technology; Dr Jitendra Singh informed that Team ISRO is eagerly awaiting the Chandrayaan3 “Wake Up” call a few hours from now when dawn breaks on the Moon after a gap of 14 days and the 2nd phase of the mission begins.
Replying to over 8 hour Debate in the Lok Sabha, on the subject of “Success of Chandrayaan-3 and other achievements of Bharat in the Space Sector”, Dr Jitendra Singh referred to Modi Government’s achievements from Space Sector to, Startups Digital Bharat, e-governance, deep sea mission and New Education Policy (NEP) and termed them outcome of out of box and revolutionary decisions of PM Narendra Modi led Government.
Dr Jitendra who is also Minister of Space said, ISRO is in the process of trying to reestablish communication with Chandrayaan-3’s solar-powered lander Vikram and rover Pragyan, to revive them so that they can continue with scientific experiments.
Dr Jitendra Singh emphatically asserted that if we succeed, India will become the first country in the world to start the 2nd Phase of Lunar Mission after activation of the communication circuit.
It may be recalled that the Lander and the Rover were put into sleep mode earlier this month on September 4 and 2 respectively, ahead of the Lunar night of 14 days’ duration. He added that there is huge variation of temperature ranging from minus 150 degrees at night to 100 degrees during day time, and therefore, we all are hoping and praying that solar batteries and solar panels will help the beginning of the unprecedented 2nd Phase of Moon Mission.
Replying to concerns raised by some of the opposition members that the Modi Government has cut the budget for ISRO, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the budget saw a jump of over 142 percent from Rs 5,168 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 12, 543 crore in the current financial year.
Similarly, the Minister informed that the budget for all Science Ministries and Departments was increased from Rs 21, 025 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 57, 303 crore in 2022-23, which is a jump of over 172 percent.
Dr Jitendra Singh while referring to DMK MP Kanimozhi also informed that a new Space Launch Station will soon be inaugurated in Thoothukkudi in Tamil Nadu. He said, 90 percent of the land acquisition work is over and appealed to the Tamil Nadu Government to complete the unfinished work.
Dr Jitendra Singh said not withstanding Nehru or not Nehru, the world is today looking towards us to lead. He said why other countries progressed is that they have not remained entangled in narrow thought of public sector.
He said the reason for quantum jump the country made in last nine years is that present Government has taken various measures to create resources.
There was no dearth of acumen in the past too but there were no resources and political will. Dr Jitendra Singh said the eco system created by Modi Government changed entire face of India. “ Gone are days when India looked towards the others but it is India today which will lead the world under Modi”, he asserted.
Dr Jitendra Singh said “Our success stories are cited in world as well today”. He said “Earlier scientists have gone abroad as they did not have opportunities in the country but our Government has opened doors for them and we have started Vaibhav programme which will go to start reverse brain drain,. We are brining young scientists back to provide jobs to them”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the New Education Policy (NEP) should have been started decades back. It gives students an opportunity to go to their aptitude and choice. The old education policy had many flaws, he added.
Maintaining that Modi Government gave enabling environment to scientists, he said the earlier Governments had deficiency in policy planning and leadership.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the television came in America in 1950 while we had to wait for 15 long years for the same.
Dr Jitendra Singh while referring to Opposition members said “I don’t know why the debate has been made between Nehru and Modi,. If world recognizes India today should I tell them not to recognize India”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh made it clear that all the stakeholders are to be brought together if we have to grow and live up to global parameters. He categorically rejected the opposition allegation that Chandrayaan 2 was a failure and said. “It is still working and Chandraryaan 2 and 3 are talking to each other”.
He said if we go by statics most of the missions on Moon world over have been unsuccessful. He said ISRO gave sense of belonging to nation as entire India was glowing to TV sets considering launching of Chandrayaan 2 and 3 as his own mission.
He, while pointing towards opposition members said “We should not try to score points for political reasons and raise level of discussion instead of trying to hit below the belt”.
The Minister said ISRO is face of the composite culture put up by India. “We had scientists like Satish Dhawan from Punjab, Vikram Sarabhai from Gujarat and Dr Abu Kalam from Tamil Nadu,. The ISRO is a model like emulating as in ISRO cultural SOPs are being followed. Before launch the scientists pay obeisance at Tirupati and after success they celebrate”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that nine years the Government did not confined itself to launch of rockets but there is much more to space technology as it has entered Indian household.
He said India is number one so far as the disaster forecast is concerned. “Wherever we could we did it to our best capacity”, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi enabled the Chandrayaan-3 Mission with his foresight and increased allocation for Space Research.
The Minister said PM Modi hiked the Space budget manifold and opened up the Space sector in 2020 with the result that the number of Space StartUps have gone up from just 4 in 2014 to 150 now. He said, India’s quantum leap in the Space sector has only been possible after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the courageous decision to “unlock” this sector from the “veil of secrecy”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, out of the 424 foreign satellites launched by ISRO since 1990s, more than 90%, that is 389, were launched in the last nine years.
“We have so far earned 174 Million US Dollars from the launching of the foreign satellites; out of these $174 million, as much as $157 million have been earned only in the last nine years… Out of the European satellites launched so far in the last 30 years or more than that, the total revenue generated is 256 million Euros, out of which Euro 223 million, almost 90%, earned in the last nine years, which means the scale has gone up, the speed has gone up and therefore there is a huge jump that has happened,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said India’s Space economy today stands at about $8 billion, but it is projected to reach $40 billion by 2040, and according to the ADL (Arthur D Little) Report, we could have the potential of $100 Billion by 2040.
He said, India’s space missions are designed to be cost effective. The Minister said the failed Russian moon mission cost Rs.16, 000 crores, while our Chandrayaan-3 mission cost just around Rs.600 crores. “We have learnt to compensate for cost through our skills”, he said.