ISRO chief K.Sivan says 'India is not at all poor' when defending the space program

India's economy was seventh largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power says ISRO chief at convocation.

In an apparent rebuttal to those questioning India's space programme in the face of its battle against poverty, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan on Monday said that the country was doing well economically and its resources should be used for the benefit of the common man. Today, opportunities are many and people are thinking that India is poor. And why is space technology required for a poor country like India? “Do you think India is poor? India is not at all poor,” he said.

India's economy was seventh largest by nominal GDP and third-largest by purchasing power, he said in his address at the convocation ceremony of the Jain Deemed-to-be University here. "...we are number one in remote sensing satellite, we are the second-largest producer of wheat and the second-largest producer of rice. Our IT industry is enviable in the world,” the ISRO chief said.

 ISRO chief K.Sivan says India is not at all poor when defending the space program

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, Dr. K. Sivan addressing a press conference on issues related to Department of Space. Image courtesy: Department of Space

The scientist said today every moment of our life was in one way or the other connected with space technology. Underlining that India needed to make use of its resources for the benefit of the common man, Sivan spoke about the importance of innovations and asked the students to never junk their crazy ideas as most of the best innovations emerged from them.

He also advised them to get inspired by great people and avoid emulating them as they will never come up with innovative ideas. Sivan reminded students that conquering personal fear, taking calculated risk and innovation and rational thinking would play a major role in their lives. In this context, he said starting a space programme in India in 1960 was a big crazy idea but Dr Vikram Sarabhai foresaw the potential of the space technology in transforming the country.

“When the whole world was using space for military domination, Dr Sarabhai thought that for a country like India, which has immense size and diversity, a space technology platform was the only suitable platform to fast track development. The results are for all of you to see," he said.

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