Staff Reporter

Venture with ISRO will help research in colleges: Minister

Minister inaugurates Space Week celebrations at VSSC

‘ISRO could take part in curriculum design’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The University of Kerala could think of starting a centre for space science and technology, as a joint venture with the Indian Space Research Organisation, to coordinate research work in the field of space in the State’s universities and technical institutions, Education Minister M.A. Baby has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Space Week celebrations-2007 at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here on Thursday.

“Till now we have not been able to fully exploit the potential of ISRO to assist research in our universities… Almost all universities in Kerala are doing works related to space science.

The universities have projects sponsored by ISRO through its RESPOND programme… The collaborations have to be further strengthened… The expertise in the universities could be used for developing advanced technologies and the scientific community in Kerala could harness grater academic input from these collaborative ventures,” Mr. Baby said.

ISRO could participate in curriculum design, share academic expertise and train teachers in new technologies. This could help increase the quality of technical education in Kerala. Libraries in the universities and engineering institutions could also be made more sophisticated with ISRO’s support. Colleges and universities could provide continuing education programmes for ISRO personnel, testing and calibration services and research guidance, the Minister said.

The government was planning to enhance the reach and capability of the Edusat network with the induction of more educational content and interactive terminals.

“For this we require additional terminals and R&D inputs from ISRO in areas like allocating more bandwidth to support additional interactive terminals, content delivery mechanism through setting up of EDUSERVER in which all content is stored and distributed through Edusat network, facilities for conducting online examinations and file transfer especially on video streaming and video content downloading through ROT facility in the Edusat network,” Mr. Baby said.

What is important is to bring about a change in mindset. There is a need to have greater interaction and collaboration between research institutes and educational institutions, he added.