The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu yesterday for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Dr Jitendra Singh. Secretary, Department of Space and ISRO Chairman, Dr. K. Sivan, Prof. Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor, CUJ and former ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan were also present on the occasion.
Another MoU was signed between CUJ and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO). To create awareness about space research and to motivate young minds to take up research related to space, astronomy, geology, atmospheric sciences and related fields, a two day workshop was also inaugurated at the CUJ campus.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh that the collaboration between ISRO and CUJ for establishing an ISRO Center at Jammu is a landmark achievement for the State. He urged the youth and the faculty of the Institute to develop scientific temper and generate interest in space research. He said that space technology has become an important part of our day-to-day lives from communication and weather forecasting to better rail-traffic management, better border surveillance and even searching for nearest toilets through mobile app etc.
While taking about the establishment of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science at Central University of Jammu, Dr. K Sivan said that the Center will help in tapping potential of Space Applications for the region of J&K in various fields like disaster management, health, education, communication, weather forecasting, land use planning, etc. He said that this would provide opportunity to the youth of the region to contribute to the field of space science as well as to the nation. He further said ISRO is dedicated to the mission of utilizing space sciences for the benefit of mankind as envisaged by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and Prof Satish Dhawan, the founding fathers of ISRO.
The area of space applications is of particular interest to J&K and the larger Himalayan region as its economy and habitations are affected by vegetation cover, forest area, snow, landslides, avalanches, ground water, cloud cover, atmospheric conditions etc. which can be easily monitored from space through remote sensing. Considering the recurring natural calamities in the region, requirement of strengthening ground-based observational capabilities of this region for weather and atmospheric research is also of utmost important. The setting up of this Center will take care of the emerging Geospatial and Space Technology requirements for the development of the region.
The Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Science at CUJ will have facilities for Geospatial Data analysis that will help in sustainable use of natural resources and planning land-use pattern. It will have ground-based observations for Atmospheric Studies, research lab for astrophysics, Atmospheric Sensing and Glacier studies Lab for better use of large quantity of water stored in the form of seasonal snow, ice and glaciers in the rivers of North India. Apart from this, Disaster Management Center will also be set up here that would be able to take up research in the area of different disasters like flood, Landslides, forest fires, drought and climate change.
The establishment of Materials Sciences Lab for space applications as a part of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science at CUJ will be another outstanding feature of the Center where special focus will be to synthesize and design new sensors and materials for space applications.
This is the first of its kind institute coming up in Jammu and Kashmir and the building is proposed in an area of about 1,150 sq. m.
As part of outreach, Research and Development, awareness creation, training and skill development, ISRO has also started many other activities like setting up of Regional Academic Centers (RAC), Space Technology Incubation Centers (S-TIC), setting up of ISRO Chairs and Space Technology Cells in various parts of the country.
Space Sciences is a multidisciplinary subject which involves basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology, planetary science, mathematics, atmospheric sciences, geography, space engineering and even space law.