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For any organization to sustain, the technology should be used for the benefit of the common man : Dr. Mahesh Sharma

Dr. Mahesh SharmaINVC NEWS New Delhi, The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014 to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a function organized at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. In the presence of Vice-President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and other eminent dignitaries, the award was received by Shri A. S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO on behalf of the organization. The Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted by the Government of India in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This annual award is given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. The Award carries an amount of Rupees one crore in cash, a plaque and a citation. Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated each and every member of the Indian Space community on ISRO being awarded the coveted Gandhi Peace Prize. The President said that ISRO is one such Indian organization, which has nurtured, developed and demonstrated world class capabilities. The President also said that India’s entry into the space arena was led by the visionary scientist, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai who foresaw the tremendous potential of space technology and its applications in addressing the needs of our country’s development. Countering the challenges of scarce resources, limited technical manpower and physical infrastructure in the early years, ISRO has today established operational space systems and services, attained self-reliance in development of indigenous technology and accomplished exemplary feats in space exploration. The President also said that ISRO today joins the rank of other eminent organizations i.e. Ramakrishna Mission, Bangladesh Gramin Bank and Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, who have been conferred upon this prestigious award. Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister of State for Culture (IC) and Tourism (IC) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that ISRO has established India’s name at the world level. He also said that ISRO is working on 170 projects in coordination with various departments of the Government of India. ISRO’s space technologies have been of great help during the natural disasters and have been helpful in the service of the humanity and the nation, he added. He also said that for any organization to sustain, the technology should be used for the benefit of the common man. Speaking at the award ceremony, Shri A. S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO said that this is the recognition of the visionary Dr Vikram Sarabhai and the successive leaders of ISRO and their contribution. He said that ISRO pledges and rededicates to bring the fruits of space technology to the people of the country. The Jury for the Prize had met under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on March 27, 2015. The other members of the Jury were Justice H.L Dattu, Chief Justice of India, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha, Shri. L. K. Advani, Member of Parliament (L.S) and Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi. ISRO was formed in 1969 to function as an agent of development through the application of space technology. ISRO has since embarked on its mission to provide the nation with space based services and to develop the technologies to achieve the same. Through the years ISRO has upheld its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man and in the service of the nation. In the process it has become one of its six largest space agencies of the world. ISRO has pioneered in positioning space technology for providing solutions to some of the prime concerns of the nation such as poverty, illiteracy, food energy & water crisis, livelihood struggle and also towards improving the quality of life in terms of better health, education, infrastructure etc. Information enrichment through space technology offers tremendous value addition in various sectors viz. food & water security, poverty alleviation, environment & ecology, energy conservation, rural prosperity, education, health care etc. India through ISRO has established a well-knit endogenous space infrastructure with adequate ground system and in-situ observation network to support multitude of applications addressing the social, economic and cultural aspects of India society at a large, effectively addressing issues from macro to micro levels and providing inputs for informed decision-making at various levels. Some of the examples of operational space applications addressing socio-economic transformation and making a difference to the society include improved coverage of agricultural land, watershed development, potential fishing zones advisories, space based information support for decentralized planning, conservation of heritage sites and weather, climate & disaster management support

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