ISRO Crowned 'Indian of the Year' 2023 for Outstanding Achievements

ISRO Crowned 'Indian of the Year' 2023 for Outstanding Achievements

New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh presented “Indian of the Year Award" for the year 2023 in the category ‘Outstanding Achievement’ to Team ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation).

The award, instituted by a national TV channel, was received by ISRO Chairman S. Somnath and Project Director of Chandrayaan 3, Dr P.Veeramuthuvel, at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi.

The award recognised the remarkable contribution made by ISRO in pushing the boundaries of Space exploration, read the award citation.

“The year 2023 will undoubtedly be etched in the books of history as a period when India's Space agency demonstrated unparalleled prowess and resilience in the face of challenges. The pinnacle of ISRO's achievements in 2023 was the successful first-ever soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon's uncharted South Polar region,” it said.

In his brief remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said the Chandrayaan-3 was not only indigenous but also a very cost-effective mission, with a budget of about Rs. 600 Crore. Even though talent was never lacking in the country, the missing link of enabling milieu was created under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he said.

“With the "unlocking" of Space Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the common masses of the country have been able to witness the launch of the mega Space events like Chandrayaan-3 or Aditya. Over 10,000 spectators, over 1,000 media persons and a large number of common people had come to see the Aditya launch and an equal number were there during the Chandrayaan-3 landing on the moon,” he said.

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Dr Jitendra Singh said, for the first time the whole of nation got involved when Chandrayaan-3 made a historic landing on the lunar south polar region.

“In a way, that has given the nation a sense of belonging, - owning these space missions,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, four-five years back, we had just one Startup in the Space sector, today we have 190 private Space Startups after opening up of the sector while the earlier ones of them have even turned entrepreneurs. There has been an investment of over Rs.1,000 crore by private Space Startups in the current financial year from April to December 2023, he said.

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“So, there’s huge pooling of both the financial resources as well as the knowledge resources happening. And that is what has now placed India as the frontline nation… I think these three successive success stories, which I would say is a trilogy of ISRO’s success, are the first of their kind in one way or the other,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, when Prime Minister Modi talks of Amritkaal and India’s ascent to that pedestal, that ascent has already begun via Space technology.

The distinguished jury panel for the IotY Awards comprised iconic figures, including former solicitor General of India, Harish Salve, screenwriter and Lyricist Javed Akhtar, Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, former Indian Athlete and Vice-President of Athletics Federation of India, Anju Bobby George, chairperson of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, Sanjiv Goenka, and environmental activist and lawyer Afroz Shah.

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