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Jammu gets north India’s first centre for space sciences

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Jammu: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday inaugurated the Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Sciences at the Central University of Jammu here, saying the first course, B.Tech in Aviation and Aeronautics, with an intake capacity of 60 students, will start this year.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office termed the inauguration of the centre a historic day for north India.
In October 2018, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central University of Jammu to set up the centre with facilities for geo-spatial data analysis that will help in sustainable use of natural resources and plan land-use patterns.
The centre has ground-based observations for atmospheric studies, research lab for astrophysics, atmospheric sensing and glacier studies laboratory for better use of large quantities of water stored in the form of seasonal snow, ice and glaciers in the rivers of north India.
This is a historic day not only for Jammu but for the entire north India because space technology was restricted to south India. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on one hand, the unlocking of space for private players was ensured, and on the other, a decision was taken to open space technology institutions in other parts of the country, the minister told reporters.
Singh, who also inaugurated the conference ‘Frontiers of Space Technology and Applications for Humanity’, said that at his suggestion, the centre was named after the former ISRO chairman as he was a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, and a real pride of the Dogra community.
He (Satish Dhawan) went to Bangalore (now Bengaluru) from here and it was because of him that the headquarters of the space research organisation was set up in Bangalore and not Delhi as he was working on several important projects, Singh said.
The minister said most of the space technology institutes were in the past confined to southern states, and the Indian Institute of Space and Technology imparting engineering, aeronautics and other streams, the only-of-its-kind, was located in Thiruvananthapuram.
We will start the first course of B.Tech in Aviation and Aeronautics this year and the intake capacity will be 60 students. The selection criteria will be IIT-JEE so that there will be no allegations of discrimination or anything else, he said.
The students, after studying aviation and aeronautics from the new institute, would be able to make a career in space technology not only in India but in space institutes such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), he said.
He said the opening of the space centre and India’s only second-of-its-kind institute in Jammu and Kashmir in the 75th year of Independence marks the march of space journey from Kerala to Kashmir under Modi .
The new avenues provided by PM Modi are more lucrative than government jobs and we need to reach out to the people, the minister said, adding the newer avenues such as drones and space technology have made inroads in every sector, including housing, smart cities, railways and highways.
Asking the youth to become self-reliant, he said, the purple revolution started by IIIM Jammu (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute Of Integrative Medicine) is spreading fast across the country.
Purple Revolution is Jammu and Kashmir’s contribution to start-ups in India. Also called Aroma Mission’, it was launched by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

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