Isro helping to tag assets under MGNREGA, says Kiran Kumar

Contrary to popular belief, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) does more than just launch roc-kets into space, said its chairman A S Kiran Kumar on Sunday. He was speaking at the centenary celebrations of Century Club here.

“In the 1960s, Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the then chairman, started thinking about how satellites could be used for society’s development. Since then, Isro has made contributions in several fields,” he said.

Technological innovations have enabled Isro to send alerts to fishermen about where fish are available in abundance or about impending dangers, Kumar said. Isro is collaborating with the postal department and other government agencies for several projects.

“The government spends crores of rupees on MGNREGA, but the project was not transparent, there were seepages. Since June last year, we have been working with National Informatics Centre to tag assets under the project, so that citizens can get all details of the assets online,” Kumar said. 

Isro is working on cryogenic technology and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III will be launched in March, he said. Kumar and Dr U R Rao, former Isro chairman, were felicitated at the event.

Accepting the honour, Dr Rao said, “When I was given the task of constructing the Aryabhata satellite in 1975, I had to choose between Bengaluru and Hyderabad. I chose Bengaluru, but there was no facility available here.” He got six sheds in Peenya industrial area cleared to build India’s first satellite, the scientist said.
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