'Satellites helped in saving many lives during calamities'

With development in technologies, people’s lifestyle has changed drastically and many problems are addressed with available space technologies and supporting ground systems, said Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, here, on Monday.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Space Technology and Societal Applications’, organised by JSS Mahavidyapeetha as part of its golden jubilee celebrations, he said, Isro has been working for the development of the country by developing satellites to get information in advance on various events. With the help of these satellites, many lives have been saved during natural calamities and disasters. “It is also contributing enormously towards the country’s GDP. Utilising the development of advanced technology satellites (ATS), built by USA, Vikram Sarabhai (Indian scientist) tied up with NASA and began work on a socio-technological experiment of a kind and magnitude never attempted before.

“In 1975-76, Isro demonstrated a community TV broadcasting experiment, Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), the largest sociological experiment in the world, which benefited around a lakh people, covering 2,400 villages and transmitted development-oriented program-mes. This paved way for establishing the INSAT infras- tructure, contributing to rapid growth of ability to link the entire country through communication, enabling broadcast, telephony and radio networking,” he added.

Highlighting technology for societal benefits, Kumar said, “Powerful new technologies offer opportunities to help address challenges, create new information sources, networks, communities and social interaction. There are numerous examples of technologies being utilised for social good and to address key social and individual needs. But, exploiting technology to tackle social needs and empower disadvantaged groups still remain significantly under explored.”

Speaking on the advantages of advances in satellite remote sensing, global navigation satellite systems and geographical information systems, he said, “Now, it has become easier to integrate ecological, environmental and other information for developing predic- tive models that can be used in the surveillance and control of diseases.”

A book ‘Daanasheelathe Agathyave?’, authored by Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy was released by Prof Vikram Sarabhai distinguished professor S K Shivakumar. Suttur mutt pontiff Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami was present.
DH News Service

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