Over 55 Start-ups have registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, in just about two years since the Indian Space Department and the ISRO were opened to the private sector, on the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition, 75 Students’ satellites are scheduled for launch this year to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75th year of India’s Independence. This was informed here today by 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 while chairing the 4th joint meeting of all the Science Ministries and departments. The Minister said, this in itself is a great and a pathbreaking progress considering the fact that for all these years, the Department of Space and the ISRO were working without being accessible to others and over two years back, the announcement to open them to private players was hailed by the media as “Unlocking” of the Indian Space sector.

This, he said, could be possible only because PM Modi has the courage and the conviction to take out of the box decisions in the interest of the nation and to break the obsolete taboos of the past. Dr Jitendra Singh further informed that out of 55 proposals, 29 are Satellite related, 10 for Space Applications and Products, 8 related to Launch Vehicle and 8 about Ground Systems and Research. He said, 9 proposals from the Start-ups are expected to be completed by 2022-23. Secretary, Department of Space, S. Somnath gave details of 75 Students’ satellites and Azadisat that are scheduled for launch this year to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75th year of India’s Independence. Dr Jitendra Singh also informed in the joint meeting that priority implementation of S&T solutions to 204 odd problems from 38 Line Ministries received for Scientific Applications and Technological Solutions by all the six S&T departments coordinated by CSIR. He said, inputs have been received on areas of participation from all departments, while DBT and ISRO have submitted their preference for leading in solution development/deployment for few challenges. He said, different scientific applications for sectors like agriculture, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power and coal to name a few are being worked out since the launch of the initiative in September last year.


Dr Jitendra Singh also informed that CSIR with the help of North Eastern Council (NEC) has identified 50 problem requiring S&T intervention in North Eastern States and the same has been shared with DST and is being shared with the Ministry of DONER. 5 out of 8 NE States have already initiated STI policy formulation. As far as STI Mapping of States and UTs is concerned the exercise is over in all 28 States and 6 UTs, the Minister informed. On the issue of unified portal for all fellowship and scholarship schemes, the Minister was informed that a preliminary meeting of Members of Working Group from DST and DBT was held on 4 April and mapping of Scholarship/Fellowship schemes under Ministry of Science & Technology has been initiated on the lines of recommendation of the Committee chaired by DGCSIR.  Dr Jitendra Singh also proposed a Science Media Centre, which will function as an inter-ministerial integrated media Cell for all S&T departments and Vigyan Prasar will be merged into it. He asked the departments and officials present to showcase success stories of departments and start-ups and to promote them wherever possible. He also directed that workshop on success stories must be organized at regular intervals. During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh conducted a thorough review of draft agenda of the State S&T Ministers Conference to be held in near future and venues like Srinagar, Shimla, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad were discussed for the first ever National Science Conclave. The Minister suggested that thematic and state-specific discussions could be included in the Conclave involving states, industry representatives and other stakeholders. The meeting was attended by Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Secretary, D/o Space, Secretary, M/o Earth Sciences, Secretary, D/o Biotechnology, Secretary, Technology Development Board and representatives and senior officials of other science departments.

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