India's Flight to the Space
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
by Anoop Krishnan H
India's first manned mission to space: Gaganyan will be backed by Russia
Bharat is now at the cusp of a space technology revolution. Encouraging the private sector in Outer space by the Government of India has opened up new opportunities for budding space enthusiasts in the country. Yet, the inclusion of private partnership in the final frontier has to be done addressing the national security considerations. This doesn’t mean the license raj of the past but synergy, accountability, and win-win attitude between government and Indian private corporations who are eagerly investing in space programs.
India is a competent space power in South Asia with a dedicated team of scientists burning the midnight oil for national development. As a responsible space power globally, India has a cardinal role in ensuring peace and stability in Outer space. Indigenization and maintaining strategic autonomy are also a priority. In South Asia, the emergence of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan with independent space programmes have made it inevitable to realize a strategic necessity for India to take the leadership role and focus on the creation of a regional space security organisation with the name South Asian space Cooperation initiative pushing space diplomacy in South Asia and beyond. This platform can be of great significance in engaging with South Asian partners who maintain friendly relations with India, thereby ensuring space security in the region and adding value to the neighborhood first policy.
The immediate focus should be on the completion of the Indian space station, which will be a force multiplier for the aspiring rise of India in the final frontier. Any nation which has reached the pinnacle of glory has invested deeply in technological advancements in Outer space. Upcoming space programs like Aditya and Gaganyaan will make a solid footprint for Bharat in the global space race.
The unprecedented impact of the pandemic has deeply hurt the tourism sector. In the future, humanity is going to travel to earthlike planets which can sustain life. Life beyond earth is no longer a fantasy but very much a possibility. Indian space industry must foresee the hidden opportunity of the future and invest towards enriching space exploration, creating the next generation of space tourists who can even plan a vacation on Mars. Santosh George Kulangara, India’s first space tourist and part of Richard Branson's ambitious space program, is now an inspiration for all Indians to dream of becoming future space explorers.
With the help of advancements in artificial intelligence, ethical debates have also gained significance.Human control over machines must be maintained. At this juncture, it is worth remembering the Peter Parker Principle in the Spiderman series ‘With great power comes great responsibility’.
The school kids, teens, and university students in India have to be nurtured with an open mind to ask questions on the cosmos, which initially may be considered meaningless and stupid. Silencing such curious minds is an unpardonable sin. The spiral of silence has to be broken. After Rakesh Sharma, Kalpana Chawla, and Sunita Williams, a new generation of Indians like Santosh George Kulangara can motivate the youngsters to take up careers in space exploration, thereby representing the footprint of India in outer spaces.
Since the online mode of teaching and learning has become the new normal, ISRO and Indian private space startups can introduce accessible or affordable online study packages focusing on Outer space. Thus, attracting young Indian minds igniting them to look up into the sky with the quest to discover the unknown secrets of the universe, ultimately fulfilling the dream of former Indian President, Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the missile man of India. He always believed in the strength of Indian youth, capable of transcending all the limitations with sheer determination and grit. Why waiting? Get ready to fly high in the relentless quest of discovering life beyond our imagination!
About the Author
Anoop Krishnan H is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Pollachi College of Arts and Science. He has done his MA from the Department of National Security Studies, Central University of Jammu.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ytharth.