British minister visits ISRO, looks forward to collaboration

British minister visits ISRO, looks forward to collaboration

"We are looking forward to closer cooperation with India", British Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts told PTI after visiting the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) here.

This follows the visit of the British Prime Minister David Cameron to India during which the two countries had decided to take the collaboration to a new level, he said.

The UK is looking forward to collaboration in the areas of sharing of space technology and academics, he said.

As a first concrete example of this strengthened partnership, Willetts invited India to partner with the UK in its TechDemoSat programme.

TechDemoSat is an industry-led technology demonstration satellite which aims to provide a low-Earth-orbit test bed to help demonstrate the technical maturity and commercial viability of innovative new space technology.

It is a low-cost satellite platform into which payloads will be packaged from a range of industrial and academic organisations.

Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre Dr T K Alex invited the UK to consider possibility of partnering with India to train the next generation of space scientists through academic exchange between the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific and leading UK universities.

Willetts said it was a great honour to be the first visiting UK Minister to tour ISAC.
He said he was impressed by the facilities and potential of real-world impact of satellites like Resourcesat-2 on areas such as agricultural production and water resource management.

"I am delighted that Dr Alex shares my vision of much closer cooperation and collaboration between the UK and India on space science and innovation and I look forward to welcoming an Indian delegation to the UK in the near future," he said.

Willetts, accompanied by the British Deputy High Commissioner to Karnataka and officials from the UK Space Agency and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, viewed the construction of Resourcesat-2 and a satellite testing facility at ISAC.

Willetts first visited India in July this year along with a major UK delegation. The delegation to India was led by the British Prime Minister David Cameron and joined by a team of Cabinet ministers, senior British business representatives, leading academics and sporting figures.

Last week in Delhi, Willetts, delivered a keynote speech at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Higher Education Summit 2010.

He was also a guest of Honour at the National Education Day and co-chaired the Ministerial India Education Forum with Kapil Sibal.

In Bangalore, Willetts was also scheduled to meet representatives of Indian Industry and senior academics in the Indian research system.

"We are very keen in cementing our ties with the Indian Space organisation", George Pritchard, Industrial Policy, UK Space Agency said today.

"UK Space Agnecy and ISRO continue to have discussions on finalising details of collaborative projects," which they hope to enter into, he said.

ISRO sources said the British minister evinced keen interest in the activities of Indian space and agreed to take it forward through an MoU. He had discussions to identify areas which could be taken up with signing of an MoU subsequently.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)