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Vikram Sarabhai thought of space technology for fast track development: Kovind
New Delhi, September 26, 2020
When the whole world was using space for military domination, Dr Vikram Sarabhai thought that for India with its immense size and diversity, space technology was a suitable platform for fast-track development, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday.
He was addressing the valedictory function of Dr Vikram Sarabhai Birth Centenary Celebrations, organized by the Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy, through a video message.
Remembering the founder of the Indian Space programme, the President said, “Dr Sarabhai was among those people whose life and deeds lift our spirits. A man of singular charm, he was full of humility that masked his tall achievements.
“He was a world-class scientist, a policymaker and also an institution-builder – a rarest of rare combination. He achieved it all in a relatively short span of time, as if he knew his end was near. His life unfortunately was cut short too early. We wonder where India’s space science would have reached if he could have served the nation for long,” he added.
As a scientist, Dr Sarabhai was never content with merely noting observations. He always looked into the implications of the experimental data for a better understanding of the nature of the interplanetary space. Between 1947 and 1971, he published as many as 85 research papers in national and international science journals, Kovind said.
Dr Sarabhai was also a great pragmatist. He did not steer India’s Space Programme on the lines of other space-faring nations. Instead of the incremental mode, he preferred leapfrogging. He was convinced that a developing country like India should directly plunge into satellite communication. He wanted to demonstrate the usefulness of a satellite system for national development.
“Today, we realise the significance of his dream, when the COVID-19 pandemic has failed to interrupt school education which has continued in the remote learning mode,” he pointed out.
The government has paid a fitting tribute to the legendary scientist by announcing space sector reforms in the birth centenary year of the renowned scientist. Dr Sarabhai had famously said, “We must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
“When India strives to become more ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) , we realize the significance of his words,” the President said.