ISRO Honored with ‘Indian of the Year Award’ for Outstanding Achievement in Space Exploration

ISRO Honored with ‘Indian of the Year Award’ for Outstanding Achievement in Space Exploration

Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, bestowed the prestigious “Indian of the Year Award” for the year 2023 in the category of ‘Outstanding Achievement’ upon the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The accolade, instituted by a national TV channel, was accepted by ISRO Chairman S. Somnath and Project Director of Chandrayaan 3, Dr P. Veeramuthuvel, during a glittering ceremony held in New Delhi. The award commended ISRO’s remarkable contribution to pushing the boundaries of space exploration, as stated in the award citation.

“The year 2023 will undoubtedly be etched in the books of history as a period when India’s space agency demonstrated unparalleled prowess and resilience in the face of challenges. The pinnacle of ISRO‘s achievements in 2023 was the successful first-ever soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon’s uncharted South Polar region,” the citation highlighted.

Dr Jitendra Singh, in his remarks, emphasized the indigenous and cost-effective nature of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which had a budget of approximately Rs. 600 Crore. He credited the enabling milieu to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and noted that the unlocking of space technology allowed the common masses to witness mega space events like Chandrayaan-3 or Aditya.

“With the ‘unlocking’ of Space Technology, the common masses of the country have been able to witness the launch of mega Space events like Chandrayaan-3 or Aditya,” Dr Jitendra Singh said. He highlighted the significant involvement of the nation during the Chandrayaan-3 landing on the moon, providing a sense of belonging and ownership of these space missions to the entire nation.

Dr Jitendra Singh also highlighted the growth of the space sector, noting the expansion from one startup to 190 private space startups within four to five years. He mentioned the substantial investment of over Rs.1,000 crore by private space startups in the current financial year from April to December 2023, showcasing a massive pooling of financial and knowledge resources.

“When Prime Minister Modi talks of Amritkaal and India’s ascent to that pedestal, that ascent has already begun via Space technology,” Dr Jitendra Singh stated, emphasizing India’s progress in space technology under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

The distinguished jury panel for the Indian of the Year Awards included iconic figures such as former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve; screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar; retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Indu Malhotra; former Indian athlete and Vice-President of Athletics Federation of India, Anju Bobby George; chairperson of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, Sanjiv Goenka; and environmental activist and lawyer Afroz Shah.

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