“The ISRO will begin its Mission to Mars on October 21 signalling a new chapter in India’s Space programme,” said S Ramakrishnan, noted scientist & Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
Delivering the XXVII convocation address at the SASTRA University here, Ramakrishnan observed that a nation’s space policy was not merely intended to establish its technological supremacy and that it had a huge potential to find optimum solutions for the development of every region in the country.
He stressed the need for an international level collaboration in space research to find solutions to the problems that confront humanity. Citing examples from the field of Geoinformatics, Remote Sensing and Imaging, he advised the students to embrace the spirit of inter-disciplinary study and research to enhance their employability. Ramakrishnan was also conferred the Doctor of Sciences (honoris causa) degree at the function.
Avinash Chander,DRDO Director General and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, was also honoured by the University, which conferred the Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on him.
In his acceptance speech, Chander stressed the need for sustained efforts to build research capabilities in a collaborative manner, with long-term expectations and which will increase India’s self-reliance in defence research from the current 50 per cent to 80 per cent. He also underscored the importance of developing a coherent synergy between the research establishments and higher educational institutions to increase the research productivity.
Chander and Ramakrishnan were honoured by the SASTRA University for their outstanding contributions to the country’s defence and aerospace sectors respectively.
Around 12 candidates received their Ph D degrees at the convocation, with over 3,000 students being awarded the B Tech, M Tech, MBA, law and science degrees. S Amirtharajan received the Chancellor’s Medal and a cash prize of Rs 50,000 for the Best Ph D dissertation on stegangography, while Venkata Pawan bagged the ‘Best Outgoing Graduate’ award for students of the B Tech ‘Class of 2013’. Earlier,Vice-Chancellor R Sethuraman welcomed the gathering.