Author: Rajeswari Pillai RajagopalanArvind K. John/Publisher: Observer Research FoundationYear: 2014Language: EnglishPages: 42ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
India has had an active space programme for several decades. Use of space technology for socio-economic development has been emphasised from the time of its inception. Addressing this aspect in the goals and motivations of India's space programme, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, one of India's space pioneers, had said decades ago, “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 community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, also made a similar pitch while outlining India's science policy in 1958.While space has remained critical for India's developmental mission, New Delhi has not shied away from pursuing advances in space technology; especially when it saw the relevance of such technology in the national security context. Pursuing space technology was also driven by a sense of building technological power. The visionaries who designed and tailored the space programme expected it to help India in achieving “technological leapfrogging” in areas such as communications, meteorology, and natural resource management.