A new era in space partnership: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, May 06, 2017: Thanks to the wisdom and political support of the Prime Minister and financial support of the Government of India, ISRO has been able to create history by launching a satellite (GSAT-9) for partnership with SAARC countries (excepting Pakistan). The picture showing our Prime Minister along with the Heads of State of other SAARC countries, watching the beautiful launch of the satellite was truly inspiring. This only shows what synergy between technology and public policy can help to achieve. On this day of pride to ISRO our scientist, and our nation we should recall that 50 years ago we did not have the capacity to use techniques like remote sensing. We had to take the help of the American Space Agency to map the spread of root wilt disease in coconut in Kerala.
There is always criticism of the use of money for such important scientific measures on the ground that a large numbers of children, women and men are still going to bed hungry. It will be useful to recall what Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the architect of our space programme said on the occasion of the First Rocket Launch On 21stNovember 1963: There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose……
…… We are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the comity of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.