Thiruvananthapuram

Supercomputing capability a critical gap: MP

Ashwani Kumar, MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forest, with M.C. Dathan, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director, and Sivan K, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, during the visit of the committee at the LPSC, Valiyamala, near Thiruvananthapuram, on Friday.— Photo: S. Mahinsha

Ashwani Kumar, MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forest, with M.C. Dathan, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director, and Sivan K, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, during the visit of the committee at the LPSC, Valiyamala, near Thiruvananthapuram, on Friday.— Photo: S. Mahinsha  

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India’s supercomputing capability, which now lagged behind that of China and was “a critical gap,” had to be strengthened, said Ashwani Kumar, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forest.

The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had given in-principle approval for a Rs.6,000-crore project for this purpose, said Dr. Kumar, who was Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences at the time, at a press conference here on Friday. He had been told that the present government had now sanctioned an initial outlay of Rs.4,000 crore for the project.

Electronic hardware

India must also address its dependence on imported electronic hardware, which made it vulnerable, according to Dr. Kumar.

The cost of importing such electronic goods would exceed the import bill for oil by 2025. Encouraging the production and manufacture of electronics within the country was therefore critical.

The committee concluded a two-day visit to various centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in and around the city.

Paying tribute to the “huge advances and accomplishments” that the country’s space programme has to its credit, including the recent Mars mission, Dr. Kumar said it would not suffer for want of funds or requisite infrastructure. Space officials had mentioned the need to scale up and expand human resources in this field, and the committee would be recommending that the request be sympathetically considered.

The declining interest in scientific education needed to be reversed. Academic institutions under the ISRO should redouble their scholarship schemes to attract the best talent to space science, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 8:09:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/supercomputing-capability-a-critical-gap-mp/article6577386.ece

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