Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
What to study?
For prelims: Key contributions of Vikram Sarabhai.
For mains: Contributions of India and Indians to the development of space technology.
Context: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) are conducting various events at national level in a year long programme to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
About Vikram Sarabhai and his contributions:
Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919. Sarabhai was instrumental in forming India’s future in astronomy and setting up the country’s space research facilities.
- Based on his persuasion, the Indian government agreed to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962.
- Sarabhai was the first chairman of the committee. The INCOSPAR was restructured and renamed as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969.
- Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in the year 1947. The laboratory started its operation from RETREAT, Sarabhai’s residence in Ahmedabad. Its first topic of research was cosmic rays.
- He also set up India’s first rocket launch site in Thumba,a small village near the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala.
- Vikram Sarabhai was also responsible for bringing cable television to India. His constant contact with NASA paved a way for the establishment of Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in 1975.
- Sarabhai was the mastermind behind building India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.
- He was one of the founding members of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
- Vikram Sarabhai received the Padma Bhushanin 1966 for his contribution to India’s progress. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972, posthumously.