The recent launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) marks another important milestone in UPA's relentless journey to bring India at par with the best in the world.
What the launch really means is that our country now has the capability to put satellites weighing more than two tons into orbit, a feat which had so far been accomplished by a privileged few, like the United States, Russia, France, Japan and China. In scientific terms this means India has now mastered the extremely complex technology of cryogenic propellants, which use liquid oxygen at minus 183 degrees Celsius and liquid hydrogen at minus 253 degrees Celsius.
This achievement comes just two months after the breathtaking launch of the Mars orbiter Mangalyaan. The spacecraft successfully left Earth's orbit and is now on course toward its final destination 249 million miles from here. Designed by Indian scientists in barely 15 months, Malgalyaan was India's first attempt at reaching Mars, and came at a remarkably low cost of $73 million ' roughly a fifth of what other countries have spent on similar projects.
In the last decade, UPA has changed India's scientific and research paradigm. The number of scholars opting for doctoral degrees in advanced science has gone up manifold. In the past 50 years, Pt. Nehru's brainchild, the Indian Space Research Organization has accomplished a century of scientific missions. India now has a constellation of 9 communication satellites, 1 meteorological satellite, 10 Earth observation satellites and 1 scientific satellite.
After assuming charge of the government in 2004, UPA had promised science and technology would be one of its major thrust areas, which was reflected in its vision document. To fulfill that dream UPA sanctioned a threefold increase in the outlay for science and technology in the 11th Plan. The Indian Meteorological Department, for example, has undergone a major revamp of technology. To monitor and analyze severe weather conditions round the clock, monitoring systems comprising of 675 AWSs, 1024 ARGs, 17 S and C-Band DWRs, have been commissioned at Chennai, Sriharikota, Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bhuj, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Patiala, Delhi Palam, Delhi Lodi Road, Lucknow, Patna, Mohanbari, Agartala, and Jaipur.
The National Tsunami Warning System has been put in place along the entire coastline of India, including Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. A state-of-the-art early warning center has been established at INCOIS. The center is equipped with latest computation and communication infrastructure that enables real time analysis of data received from all sensors, and ensures its timely dissemination.
A Bioinformatics Network covering 65 institutions across India has been established. Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has also been established. A first of its kind institution, BIRAC has the mandate to strengthen the research capacities of biotech entrepreneurs. BIRAC will provide end-to-end services to the industry, mainly startups and SMEs.
The Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research Bill, 2011 was passed by both Houses of the Parliament during the winter session and received Presidential consent on 6th February, 2012.
The National Data Sharing and Access Policy (NDSAP), which has been approved and notified, is aimed at promoting technology based data management &sharing, and provides the civil society access to government departments. This Policy reflects UPA's commitment to transparency and efficiency in governance.
Over 6.2 lakh school students in the 10-15 years age group have been given Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) awards. Over 1 lakh interns in the 16-17 years age group have been extended support under the INSPIRE scheme, 10,000 scholarships provided to students in the 17-22 years age group, 1,200 doctoral fellowships in the 22-27 years age group and nearly 50 faculty awards given in the 27-32 years age group.
Interestingly, nearly half of the recipients of these awards were female, while about three quarters were children and adults from weaker sections.
Through a public-private partnership, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories has designed and developed the CNM5, a 5-seater all-metal aircraft, capable of carrying two stretchers. The aircraft was test flown in the first week of September, 2011.The CNM5, which is designed to meet global standards, was developed at extremely low costs and with limited infrastructure support.
A district-level agro-meteorological advisory service covering 560 districts has been made operational for farmers. It provides a 5-day weather forecast and advisory on agricultural practices. About 30 lakh farmers have subscribed for the service updates on their mobile phones.
ISRO's major mission under UPA Government:
Besides the Chandrayan (2008), the Mangalyan (2013) and GSLV-DS, ISRO launched 6 GSLV rockets, 17 PSLV rockets, and is now developing a sophisticated GSLV MRAK III launch vehicle. The milestones are as below:-
GSLV-D5 successfully launched GSAT-14 from Sriharikota (Jan 05, 2014).
PSLV - C25/Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft successfully launched from Sriharikota (Nov 05, 2013).
Successful launch of GSAT-7 by Ariane-5 VA-215 from Kourou French Guiana (August 30, 2013).
GSAT-7 is an advanced communication satellite built by ISRO to provide wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication.
Successful launch of INSAT-3Dby Ariane-5 VA-214 from Kourou French Guiana (July 26, 2013).
PSLV - C22 successfully launched IRNSS-1Afrom Sriharikota (Jul 01, 2013).
PSLV - C20 successfully launched SARAL and six commercial payloads from Sriharikota (Feb 25, 2013).
Successful launch of GSAT-10 by Ariane-5 VA-209 from Kourou French Guiana (September 29, 2012).
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C21 successfully launched SPOT 6 and PROITERES from Sriharikota (September 09, 2012).
PSLV-C19 successfully launched RISAT-1 from Sriharikota (April 26, 2012).
PSLV-C18 successfully launched MeghaTropiques, Jugnu, SRMSatandVessel Sat-1from Sriharikota (October 12, 2011).
Megha-Tropiques is an Indo-French satellite designed to study the climate changes in the tropical region of the world;
SRMSat was built by the students of SRM university, near Chennai;
Jugnu, was built by students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur;
Vesselsat from Luxembourg.
PSLV-C17 successfully launched GSAT-12 from Sriharikota (July 15, 2011).
GSAT-12, the latest communication satellite built by ISRO, weighs about 1410 kg at lift-off. GSAT-12 is configured to carry 12 Extended C-band transponders to meet the country's growing demand for transponders in a short turnaround time.
Successful launch of GSAT-8 by Ariane-5 VA-202 from Kourou French Guiana (May 21, 2011).
GSAT-8, India's advanced communication satellite, is a high power communication satellite being inducted in the INSAT system.
PSLV-C16 successfully launched Three Satellites - RESOURCESAT-2, YOUTHSAT, X-SAT from Sriharikota (April 20, 2011).
GSLV-F06 launched from Sriharikota (Dec 25, 2010). GSAT-5P could not be placed into orbit as the GSLV-F06 mission was not successful.
Successful launch of advanced communication satellite HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite), built by ISRO on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astriumof Europe, by Ariane-5 V198 from Kourou French Guiana (November 27, 2010).
PSLV-C15 successfully launched Five Satellites - CARTOSAT-2B, ALSAT-2A, two nanosatellites-NLS-6.1 & 6.2 and one Pico-satellite STUDSAT from Sriharikota (July 12, 2010).
GSLV-D3 launched from Sriharikota (Apr 15, 2010). GSAT-4 satellite could not be placed in orbit as flight testing of the Indigenous Cryogenic Stage in GSLV-D3 Mission was not successful.
PSLV-C14 successfully launched Seven Satellites - OCEANSAT-2, FourCUBESAT Satellites and Two RUBIN-9 from Sriharikota (Sept. 23, 2009).
PSLV-C12successfully launchesRISAT-2andANUSATfrom Sriharikota (April 20, 2009).
PSLV-C11 successfully launched CHANDRAYAAN-1 from Sriharikota (October 22, 2008).
PSLV-C9 successfully launched CARTOSAT-2A,IMS-1and 8 foreign Nano satellites from Sriharikota (April 28,2008).
PSLV-C10 successfully launched TECSAR satellite under a commercial contract with Antrix Corporation (January 21, 2008).
Successful launch of GSLV (GSLV-F04) with INSAT-4CR on board from SDSC SHAR (September 2, 2007).
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C8, successfully launched Italian astronomical satellite, AGILE from Sriharikota (April 23, 2007).
Successful launch of INSAT-4B by Ariane-5 from Kourou French Guyana, (March 12, 2007).
Successful recovery of SRE-1 after maneuvering it to reenter Earth's atmosphere and descend over the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east of Sriharikota (January 22, 2007).
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C7 successfully launches four satellites - India's CARTOSAT-2, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1), Indonesia's LAPAN-TUBSAT and Argentina's PEHUENSAT-1(January 10, 2007).
Second operational flight of GSLV (GSLV-F02) from SDSC SHAR with INSAT-4C on board (July 10, 2006). Satellite, however could not be placed in orbit.
Successful launch of INSAT-4A by Ariane from Kourou French Guyana (December 22, 2005).
ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle,PSLV-C6, successfully launched CARTOSAT-1 and HAMSAT satellites from Sriharikota(May 5, 2005).
The first operational flight of GSLV (GSLV-F01)successfully launched EDUSAT from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota (September 20, 2004).