THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Just eight years after its birth, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), ISRO’s space academy here, is already in ‘Mission Accomplished’ mode. Opened in 2007 to address the severe manpower crunch faced by the ISRO, the IIST has in this short period produced more than 400 young scientists/engineers for various units of the space agency across the country.
As many as 431 youngsters in three BTech streams have graduated in the past eight years and more than 400 who made the required grade elected to stay with the space agency, K S Dasgupta, director, IIST, told Express. “We have achieved our mandate, providing quality human resource for the ISRO programmes. After three to four years, we will know what their contributions are,” Dasgupta said.
The first batch- that of 2007 - produced 125 BTech graduates in three branches - aerospace engineering, avionics and physical sciences. The 2008 batch produced 142 BTech, 21 MTech and two PhD graduates. The 2009 batch, who attended their convocation on Sunday, had 145 BTech, eight MTech and nine PhD graduates. The 2010 batch, the majority of whom had already been absorbed by the ISRO, had 119 BTech and 35 MTech graduates.
The fifth batch would be out this June. Upto 2013-14, IIST students had to secure 6.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) to be absorbed in ISRO. Now the cut-off CGPA has been raised to 7.5 and a job in ISRO depends on the number of vacancies available in a particular year.
“I’m really impressed,” ISRO former chairman G Madhavan Nair, who inaugurated the IIST in September 2007, during his stint as the ISRO chairman, said.
“We had created the IIST with the limited goal of producing hands for ISRO, but in such a short period, it has caught up in the research area. IIST is a model for the entire country at a time when students are being exploited in the name of engineering courses,” Madhavan Nair said.
This year onwards, the IIST has two four-year BTech programmes, one five-year dual degree programme, 13 MTech and one MS branches in addition to the PhD programmes.