ABU DHABI (UAE): Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today described India as a key Global Player in the Space sector and reiterated that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is keen to take its Space cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to newer heights.
Addressing the Opening Ceremony of the UAE summit, “Abu Dhabi Space Debate”, Dr Jitendra Singh acknowledged the presence of the UAE President, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed at the Opening Ceremony and conveyed PM Modi’s warm greetings to him and the people of UAE.
Dr Jitendra Singh is leading the official Indian delegation to United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the “Abu Dhabi Space Debate”, a 2-day international meet. Apart from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, and Diplomats from several countries attended the opening ceremony.
Dr Jitendra Singh greeted the people of the United Arab Emirates on the occasion of the celebration of 51 years of the formation of this great country on behalf of the people of India. He said, another laudable achievement for the UAE this year is completion of the silver jubilee of its space odyssey with several golden milestones.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, development of the Space sector is one of the priority areas for the leaders of both India and the UAE and added that India started its space journey seven decades back from a scratch and is today acknowledged to be a leading space power. He said, the highlight of India’s journey has been its thrust on indigenous development through dedication and hard work of its scientists guided by the commitment of the leaders.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the indigenously developed Space sector of India and the fast growing Space sector of the UAE have a lot of complementaries that can be harnessed. He said, if we want to ensure that the Space remains a sector to serve our shared humanity, it is important to bring all the stakeholders together to discuss and deliberate about the Space and in this regard, this platform has the potential to shape the future of the Space sector.
The Minister said, the Indian space industry today is renowned across the globe for two things – reliability and economy. India is proud to have the maximum success ratio in the world for its flagship space launching vehicle – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV. Just a few weeks back, India’s PSLV launched 36 satellites including for countries from both the developed and developing world, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the list of achievements of India’s Space industries is quite long and informed that Indian Space Research Organization or ISRO has launched more than 100 satellites so far and has immense in-house satellite building capabilities for GSAT, Earth Observation Satellites and Space based Satellite Navigation Systems. He proudly stated that India has also developed its own GPS, which we call the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS. Besides the successful launch of India’s Mars orbiter mission in 2013, India has twice attempted to send its Mission to the moon known as Chandrayaan 1 and Chandrayaan 2. The third satellite mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan 3 will be launched next year, thr Minister informed.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s other flagship space programmes also include Human Space Flight Centre or what we call in India as Gaganyaan project under which we are planning to send our first crewed flight in space in 2024.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the light of the Indian philosophy of Vasudeva Kutumbakam which means – the World is one family, India wants to share the fruits of space development to reach all countries and bring closer cooperation between governments and private entities in the space sector. He said, with this idea, India has recently brought landmark reforms leading to policy initiatives to tap the best of our research potential as well as participation of the private sector.
The Minister said, India is also keenly promoting development of start ups in the space sector to facilitate entry of foreign government and private sector entities. In this regard, India has established a dedicated organisation called Indian Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre or IN-SPACe which is tasked with the objective of hand-holding our nascent private entities in the Space sector, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that among the several pioneering initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is the Abu Dhabi Space Debate which reflects his commitment and vision for the Space sector. He said that much of this vision has already become a reality with the UAE sending a space mission to Mars orbit, thereby becoming the sixth such country demonstrating its prowess in the space sector and on top of that, the UAE became the only second country, other than India, to successfully launch a Mars orbiter in its very first attempt.
The Minister also congratulated the UAE for planning its second human space mission next year by sending four astronauts in space for six months. The launch of Rashid Rover, UAE’s Moon Mission in the near future, and creation of the Space fund are milestones which reflect the commitments and determination of the UAE to excel in the Space sector. He shared that India’s active space partnership with the UAE dates back to 2017, when our PSLV launched UAE’s first nanosatellite – ‘Nayif-1’ meant for collecting environmental space data.
Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the thrust of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate for building the role of Governments in empowering space business and technology. He said, the list of discussions in ADSD on the role of the space sector to solve the climate issues, bringing accountability to environmental commitments, threats to and from space to the political discourse and making the presence of private sector and space innovation people driven that serve humankind; are very relevant to our time and are eye-opening topics, setting apart this initiative from any other such gathering in Space sector in the past.
Dr Jitendra Singh concluded by saying that he is confident that the Abu Dhabi Space Debate will grow in stature in the coming years and become a pre-eminent platform for discussions in space related matters and take India-UAE space cooperation into an entirely different and much higher spatial orbit. Lastly, as India assumed the chairmanship of G-20 on Dec 1, the Minister once again welcomed the UAE to the G-20 Summit and G-20 meetings in the period of India’s chairmanship.