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College students will develop satellites: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he was confident students across the country would develop satellites in the future and benefit from the space sector reforms unveiled by the government.

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Addressing his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ program, Modi said space sector reforms had caught the imagination of the younger generation and several college students and people working in universities and the private sector have come forward enthusiastically. “I firmly believe that in the coming days, a large number of satellites would be those developed by our youth, our students, our colleges, our universities, students working in labs,” the prime minister said. Last year, the government unveiled space sector reforms by opening up the production of satellite launch vehicles and satellites to the private sector.

Until recently, the role of private sector companies had been limited to supply of components and sub-systems, and fabrication of launch vehicles and satellites. Some companies had evinced interest in developing their own satellite launch vehicles, with ISRO offering space at its launch station at Sriharikota to set up their launchpad. The government set up New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre.

The NSIL has received bids from three companies to build five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs), the first instance when a launch vehicle would be entirely developed by the private sector. The Prime Minister also appreciated the start-up sector in the country that is “spreading its wings in smaller cities”.

The prime minister touched upon a host of topics, including India’s rich spiritual tradition and the boost the sporting culture has received after its performance in the Tokyo Olympics, in the address and also paid glowing tributes to hockey legend Dhyan Chand, saying he conquered the world of hockey for the country.

Modi asserted that the young population’s mindset has undergone a sweeping change and it was now keen on new destinations and new goals by taking new paths and having new aspirations. The momentum sporting culture has received must be further advanced, he said, calling for having sports competitions at the village level. Modi also urged people to continue to take Covid-19 precautions and underscored the need to take forward the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.

“More than 62 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country, but still we have to be careful, be vigilant,” the prime minister said. Deccan Herald

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