Space Science experiments often demand development of new technologies. Some of the new developments made in the last three years are as listed below :

  • Development of highly polished optical mirrors - for a solar coronographic mission – Aditya-L1
  • Development of large, light-weight collimators with non-cylindrical aperture – for x-ray polarimetric applications – XpoSAT mission
  • Development of indigenous silicon sensors and coatings for optical and IR spectroscopic applications – for payloads on Chandrayaan-2 mission


A study committee constituted by ISRO to chart out the long-term program for space science exploration, has prepared a report outlining high priority missions to be taken up. These include followup missions to Mars, a new mission to Venus and a return to Moon with capability to return samples from extra-terrestrial sources.

Bilateral cooperations are often useful to maximise science returns from payloads due to a large dependency of complimentary information from multiple sensors on ground and in space. Hence these are encouraged on a case-by-case basis. There have been cooperative programs with Canadian Space Agency and UK universities on our astronomy satellite, ASTROSAT ; similar cooperation programs have been established in the past on Chandrayaan-1 mission with NASA and the European Space Agency.

Indian Space research Organisation through the programme called RESPOND (Sponsored Research) is encouraging academia to participate in the R & D activities. Respond programme provides support to research projects in wide range of topics in space technology, space science and applications to universities/ institutions. ISRO has also set up Space Technology Cells at various institutions like Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) - Bombay, Kanpur, Kharagpur & Madras; Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and with University of Pune (UoP) to carry out research activities. Some of the other recent initiatives for capacity building include setting up of Space Technology Incubation Centres (S-TIC) and Regional Academic Centres for Space (RAC-S).

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.



Read more: Development of Space Technology

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister  Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.




The MoU will promote cooperation in the areas of mutual interest pertaining to the development of blue economy. Norway is a global leader in the area of Blue Economy and has cutting-edge technologies and expertise in areas such as fisheries, hydrocarbons, renewable energy, sustainable harnessing of ocean resources and maritime transport. The proposed MoU will contribute to create opportunities for collaboration in areas such as exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources, as well as management of ports and tourism development for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders within the framework of the Joint Task Force (JTF). It will contribute to the objective of Food Security through infusion of new technologies in fisheries and aquaculture. It will further offer a platform for businesses in both countries to execute profitable ventures. Scientists and researchers may collaborate on studying ocean ecosystem also in the context of the Arctic region.


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Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), the flagship program of the Ministry was launched in 2015 to mobilize youth to take up skill training with the aim of increasing productivity and aligning the training and certification to the needs of the country. Owing to success of PMKVY 1.0 wherein more than 19 lakh students were trained as against the target of 24 lakh, the scheme was re- launched as PMKVY 2.0 (2016-2020) with an aim to train 10 million youth by the year 2020.

Based on the learning from first phase of the scheme, changes were made under PMKVY (2016-2020) to ensure quality and standardization for the benefit of end beneficiaries. The training centres delivering training under PMKVY (2016-2020) have been inspected by third party inspection agencies, courses have been designed by Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) with industry inputs, and curriculum and candidate handbooks have been standardized for all job roles under PMKVY. PMKVY actively also seeks input from industry through SSCs to keep abreast with changes and requirement of employers to be inculcated in the course curriculum. Further, training centres imparting training are regularly monitored leveraging technology enabled tools.Under PMKVY, a total of 49973, 1594183 and 674534 candidates have been trained during 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.


Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is entrusted with the responsibility of long term vocational training in the Country. One of the flagship schemes is ‘Craftsmen Training Scheme’ being implemented through network of 15,042 Industrial Training Institutes  (Govt. 2738 + Private 12,304 ITIs) located all over the country with an objective to provide skilled work force to the industry in 138 trades with duration of 6 months , 1 year and 2 year .

DGT has taken following initiatives to improve quality of skills for better employment opportunities.

  1. Dual System of Training- for better industry linkages following the German model.
  2. Grading of ITIs & ISO 29990 certification
  3. Introduction of two year Advanced Technical Diploma
  4. Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE)
  5. Introduction of new trades on  Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Agriculture, Geo- informatics assistant, Aeronautical Structure & Equipment Fitter, Drone, Solar Technician, Technician Mechatronics  etc, under Craftsmen Training Scheme.


This information was given by Union Minister forSkill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.








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India’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-31 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today.

The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-247 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 2:31 am (IST) carrying India’s GSAT-31 and Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 satellites, as scheduled.

After a 42-min flight, GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,850 km, inclined at an angle of 3.0 degree to the equator.

With a lift-off mass of 2536 kg, GSAT-31 will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit. The satellite will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites. GSAT-31 derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series.

“GSAT-31 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage. The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said.

Dr. Sivan also remarked that “GSAT-31 will provide DTH Television Services, connectivity to VSATs for ATM, Stock-exchange, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications. The satellite will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications.”

After separation from Ariane-5 upper stage, the two solar arrays of GSAT-31 were automatically deployed in quick succession and ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-31 and found its health parameters normal.

In the days ahead, scientists will undertake phase-wise orbit-raising manoeuvres to place the satellite in Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) using its on-board propulsion system.

During the final stages of its orbit raising operations, the antenna reflector of GSAT-31 will be deployed. Following this, the satellite will be put in its final orbital configuration. The satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests.



Read more: India’s communication satellite GSAT-31 launched...

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