Mangaluru : ISRO launches student-centric regional space centre at NITK

12:41 PM, Saturday, January 4th, 2020


Mangaluru : South India’s first and the country’s fourth Regional Academy Centre for Space (RAC-S) by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) was inaugurated at National Institute of Technology Karnataka(NITK), Surathkal, on Friday.

In this context, Isro and NITK signed an MoU. It was signed by P V Venkitakrishnan, director, Capacity Building Programme Office (CBPO), Isro, and K Umamaheshwar Rao, director, NITK, Surathkal. The exclusive centre aims to pursue advanced research in the areas of relevance to the future technological and programme needs of the Indian space programme.

Venkitakrishnan, interacting with the media after signing the MoU, said this centre is one of the ‘bahus’ (daughter-in-law in Hindi) among the many ‘bahus’ of Isro, and expected that it will perform best. “We will give unlimited powers to this centre to carry out activities, and it’s student centric—whereas the other centres are faculty centric. The centre will have the responsibility of incubation and research,” he said.

The other three RAC-S by Isro are located in MNIT Jaipur, Gauhati University and Kurukshetra University.

The RAC-S setup at NITK, Surathkal, will receive an initial funding of Rs 2 crore. Venkitakrishnan said that Isro expects that collaboration with NITK will trigger interest for incubators on space technology.

“Many startups usually perish in a few years due to various reasons. However, Isro plans to help those who come with space technology startups by offering products and help in innovative thinking. There are future plans to help the best startups with funding and other requirements,” he said, adding that the onus on success of RAC-S is with NITK, Surathkal. RAC-S will also help in offering academic degrees related to space technology.

Dr K Sivan, chairman, Isro, and secretary, DoS, government of India, in a video message, during the workshop on space technology applications, said that two more such centres are in the pipeline at NIT, Patna and BHU.

“All these centres are set up in tier-2 cities where space technology is not much talked about. These centres will develop interest among the young generation in rocket and satellite technology and also use it for the betterment of society,” he said.

He added that RAC-S will cover Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Puducherry.

“Today Isro is venturing into new arenas like navigation systems, Gaganyaan and others. It is essential to strengthen academic collaboration and also at the same time spread the footprints of space technology to different parts of the country,” he said. He also stressed how RAC-S will play a pivotal role in space technology.


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