Prime Minister Narendra Modi always had a keen interest in technology and an inclination towards space-tech long before he became the PM. In 2006, when Shri Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he accompanied the then President APJ Abdul Kalam to the Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad.
Their mission was to monitor the progress of Chandrayaan-1, due for launch in 2008. As Gujarat’s CM and India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has always been passionate about science and space.
Celebrating the victorious launch of Chandrayaan-1 on Oct 22, 2008, Shri Narendra Modi made a special trip to SAC Ahmedabad to cheer on the scientists. He also delivered the Gujarat Cabinet’s resolution congratulating ISRO on this incredible accomplishment.
Stating that ISRO was like a mini-India, Shri Modi extended a warm dinner invitation to all the scientists. Keeping his word, later back in January 2009, Shri Modi organized a heartwarming 'Sneh-Milan' programme, gathering family members of the scientists at Science City, Ahmedabad. “Science has the capability to change history,” he said.
In 2019 India launched Chandrayaan-2 mission. Although India could not register its name in golden letters in the pages of history, as Chandrayaan-2 lost its communication with the Control Centre at the ISRO headquarters, the mission was equally pathbreaking as the Orbiter associated with it detected presence of chromium, manganese and sodium for the first time. Applauding the scientists at ISRO for their efforts, PM Modi remarked, “To our scientists I want to say, India is with you. True to your nature, you ventured into a place where no one had never gone before.” PM Modi was even seen hugging and consoling then ISRO Chief K Sivan after he broke down.
As far back as 15 years ago, Shri Modi saw science’s potential in education, telemedicine, and in probing life’s mysteries. And today, in a historic achievement, when Chandrayaan-3 mission robotic lunar rover Vikram landed on the Moon on 23rd August 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the ISRO team via video conferencing from South Africa to witness the final descent and conveyed his heartfelt wishes for this success. This milestone made India world’s fourth country to land on the moon and first country to land on South Pole of the moon.
Following BRICS summit in South Africa, and state visit to Greece, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly reached Bengaluru, where he met the scientists at ISRO. While addressing, an emotional PM Modi saluted the hard work, dedication and passion of the scientists and engineers. “India is on the Moon. We have our national pride placed on the Moon. We reached the spot where no one had ever reached before. We did what no one had ever done before,” he remarked.
The Prime Minister also attributed a major part of the Chandrayaan-3 success to the women scientists. He said in the success of Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission, our women scientists, the country’s “Nari Shakti” have played a big role.
To commemorate the commendable achievement, Prime Minister Modi named the landing spot of Chandrayaan-3 as ‘Shivshakti’ and the location where Chandrayaan-2 fell as ‘Tiranga’, to remind us that ‘no failure is permanent.’ He also announced that every year, on 23rd August, India will mark as the ‘National Space Day.’
ISRO Chief S Somanath lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the ISRO to congratulate the various scientists on the success of Chandrayaan-3. He said that PM Modi has a great vision for the youth of India and has a great belief in “Make in India” to enable India’s technological progress. Sharing their joy, ISRO scientists said that despite Chandrayaan-3’s success PM Modi inspired them to be humble and rooted to our Indian culture and traditions.