Need to promote space research in varsities: Kerala Guv

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Thursday stressed the need to have a more flexible and encouraging policy to involve universities also in space research.

In his inaugural address at the World Space Week 2018 here, the governor hoped that with the ISRO supporting universities willing to launch their own satellites, there would be positive changes.

Considering India’s leadership in satellite remote sensing of earth and its applications for cyclone monitoring, disaster management, monitoring of rescue operations, national security, the people’s expectation from such facilities was rising each day, he said.

When disaster-affected areas get disconnected from the rest of the world, satellite image is the only way to identify the gravity of the disaster, he noted. Pointing out that satellite-based remote sensing and communication systems were becoming a critical requirement for disaster management across the world, he said however ensuring such data during night has been a problem.

The Governor further said he was happy that Satellite-based microwave remote sensing was now being put into service in India to get such images and data during nights and bad weather. People in Kerala would remember the services and support Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had extended through its space and ground-based sensors.

He recalled that during the Ockhi cyclone, ISRO had come to the rescue of people of Kerala by supplying vital data for interpretation by the IMD. “Yet, it is surprising why different agencies engage in blame game about the timely availability of information during natural disasters,” he said adding there was a need for better clarity and simplicity in the communications that reach the people.

The Governor suggested that ISRO take initiative in coordinating the flow of such vital information. Programmes for updating the media through training modules can also be considered so that they could convey scientific information with better clarity, he said.