New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014 to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) today (September 9, 2015) at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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. He said Science and Technology is a key driver for shaping the destiny of nations and people across the globe. Technology is built not so much by individuals but by organizations. The characteristics of organizations – their leaders, their structures and their cultures have a great bearing on catalyzing innovations and putting them to use for the benefit of society. ISRO is one such Indian organization, which has nurtured, developed and demonstrated world class capabilities. Even as it has sought to encompass the globe and reach for the stars, it has remained rooted in its core mission of national regeneration and improving the life of the common man, a goal set for the nation by Mahatma Gandhi.
The President said from a humble beginning, launching small sounding rockets from Thumba for atmospheric studies, ISRO is today one of the six largest space agencies of the world. It has built an indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) which is one of the most sought after launch vehicles in its class across the world. It has achieved 29 successful flights of the PSLV launching not only Indian satellites but also 45 satellites of 19 other countries. The recent launch of five satellites of the United Kingdom marked a new milestone in demonstrating the performance and reliability of the PSLV. ISRO has also successfully built the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with an indigenous cryogenic engine. Scripting space history on September 24, 2014, India successfully placed the Mars Orbiter around Mars. It is the only country in the world to achieve this feat in its first attempt and the fourth space agency in the world to reach Mars. It makes us even more proud that this mission was achieved at a fraction of the cost incurred by other successful nations. He also complimented ISRO for designing people centric space programmes to support various national priorities such as food & water security, sustainable environmental practices, conservation of resources, livelihood support, poverty alleviation, rural prosperity, education and health care and disaster management amongst others.
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