"We have our own space, our own priority. India’s space programme is directed as per the requirements of the Indian government," said Dr Kasturirangan, former ISRO Chairman

Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and noted scientist K Kasturirangan has said that India is not competing with China in space programme and the country has its own space activity.

Dr Kasturirangan said “we are not competing with China. We have our own space, our own priority. India’s space programme is directed as per the requirements of the Indian government.”

He was speaking to The Hindu after submitting a final report of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, here on Monday evening.

Replying to a question on China forging ahead of India in science and technology, he said “in many things we have scored very high, particularly in providing socio-economic benefits through use of science and technology.”

Noting that the government has allocated adequate budgetary allocations for ISRO and science and technology to undertake space programmes, Dr. Kasturirangan said “we have got best satellites in the world. Rockets we have developed are contemporary and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is in a class by itself.”

To a query on transponders, he said “it is a challenge to ISRO to build transponders capacity…so that it can quickly catch up with the requirements". “Requirements are larger than the current capacity the ISRO provides,” Dr. Kasturirangan, who is also a member of the Planning Commission, said.

Stating that the country needs to step up research and development in water utilisation and generation of more energy to meet demand-supply gap, he said “we need to step up R&D in water recycling, exploration, hydrological mapping, optimisation of water use and water management. India will likely to become water stress.”

Since the economy is registering eight per cent GDP growth rate, the energy sector should grow at six per cent to tackle shortage in electricity. “We need to have fuel linkages and R& D in second and third generation of fuels such as bio-fuel, battery stem and more electric mobility. We have to look up the issues in a holistic way,” he said.