Prasanthi Nilayam, 01 October 2022:
Eminent Scientist and astrophysicist and the Chancellor, Central University of Rajasthan Padma Vibhushan Dr. K. Kasturirangan, delivered the memorial address at the S G Sundaraswamy Memorial Lecture, held at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed-to-be-University), Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, on Saturday, 01 October 2021.
Speaking on the topic ‘Evolution of Space Science in India’ Dr. K. Kasturirangan gave the students and his listeners a beautiful bird’s eye view of his illustrious career at ISRO right from the day he was picked by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai till he retired as its Chairman in 2003, sharing alongside the growth story of India’s space technology under the leadership of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, also known as the father of Indian Space program who was later succeeded by Prof. Satish Dhawan.
Dr. Kasturirangan spoke passionately reminiscing about the days of working on Bhaskara 1 to the launch of IRS/INSAT and PSLVs to modern-day planetary missions like Chandrayaan. He touched upon the challenges of building satellites right from scratch in the early years in 40 months and the success of taking the first pictures from space and the quantum leap of improvement achieved by ISRO in two decades with capabilities that were on par with the best in the world, building world-class satellites in remote sensing. He spoke about how PSLV is one of the finest launch vehicles in the world and that ASTROSAT recently completed 7 years of operations. He also mentioned ISRO’s future missions to Venus and the solar observation project (Aditya L1).
Dr. Kasturirangan also shared the role of the political class and their contribution to all the projects and launches and that he had the opportunity to work with four Prime Ministers during his tenure as Chairman of ISRO and two Prime Ministers as Member of Planning Commission and later Chairman of NEP and NCF currently.Dr. Kasturirangan also shared the role of the political class and their contribution to all the projects and launches and that he had the opportunity to work with four Prime Ministers during his tenure as Chairman of ISRO and two Prime Ministers as Member of Planning Commission and later Chairman of NEP and NCF currently.
As summarized well by Dr. Kasturirangan himself, his talk took us through his extraordinary journey filled with great opportunities, exciting experiences, and memorable events, inspiring and igniting the young minds listening to dream and pursue the dream with passion.
Dr. Kasturirangan was with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for over a period of nearly 35 years including nearly 10 years as its Chairman from 1994-2003. He worked on the design and development of early satellite systems of ISRO and played a key role in shaping India’s remote sensing satellite capabilities.
Currently, the Chancellor of the Central University of Rajasthan, Dr. Kasturirangan is also a Member of all the four National Science Academies of India and several International academies. He is a Member of the International Astronomical Union and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He is an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City, and an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University, UK. Dr. Kasturirangan is the only Indian to be conferred the Honorary Membership of the International Academy of Astronautics.
More recently, he was the Chairman of the Committee that drafted the National Education Policy; presently he is the Chairman of the National Steering Committee for developing the National Curricular Framework.
He is a recipient of several awards and recognitions including the highest civilian honors Padma Shri (1982), Padma Bhushan (1992), and Padma Vibhushan (2000) by the President of India, and the Award of ‘Officer of the Legion d’honneur’ (2002) by the President of the French Republic, France.
The event was attended by Sri S S Naganand, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), Shri K Chakravarthi, Chancellor, and Prof. (Dr.) C B Sanjeevi, Vice-Chancellor, and Prof. B Sai Giridhar, Registrar of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.
Dr. K. Kasturirangan’s memorial lecture on space science will also be a prelude to the World Space Week 2022 celebrations set to be kicked off on the 4 October 2022.
View Recording on: https://youtu.be/GAm5qyR8s0o