India's space program has a vital role in realising sustainable development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday, asking the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to give priority to tele-education, tele-medicine and village resource centre services.
Addressing ISRO scientists linked countrywide from its facility here, the prime minister said space-based applications are a very potent means of bridging the divides in society through reducing the cost of access to space. 'This requires expediting the development of heavy lift launchers, advanced propulsion systems, including the cryogenic stage, and recoverable and reusable launch systems.
The other major goal before us is the socio-economic empowerment of our people, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai siad. The Satellite Instructional Television Experiment, which was the brainchild of this Centre, demonstrated for the first time how space technology could be used for broadcasting and for reaching the benefits of education to the village level. Although we have come a long way since then, there is much more that needs to be done. Tele-education, tele-medicine and Village Resource Centre services deserve high priority. ISRO's contribution to the monitoring of programs like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Accelerated Benefit Irrigation Program and Bharat Nirman for regeneration of our rural economy is laudable.