Inaugurates three important space infrastructure projects worth about Rs 1800 crores
Reviews progress of Ganganyaan and bestows ‘astronaut wings’ to the astronaut-designates
“In the new Kaal Chakra, India is continuously expanding its space in the global order and this is clearly visible in our space program”
“The four astronaut-designates are not just four names or individuals, they are four ‘Shakti’ of carrying the aspirations of 140 crore Indians into space”
“The four astronaut-designates symbolize the trust, courage, valor and discipline of today’s India”
“After 40 years, an Indian is going to space. But now, the time, the countdown and the rocket is ours”
“As India is set to become the top-3 economy of the world, at the same time the country's Gaganyaan is also going to take our space sector to new heights”
“India's Nari Shakti is playing a pivotal role in the space sector”
“India's success in the space sector is sowing the seeds of scientific temperament in the country's young generation”
“ In this Amrit Kaal, an Indian astronaut will land on the Moon in an Indian rocket”
“Society benefits the most from space technology”

The Governor of Kerala, Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan ji, my colleague and Minister of State Shri V. Muraleedharan, all members of the ISRO family, Namaskar!

Before commencing my speech, I kindly request all of you to honour these four brave friends with a standing ovation and applause.

Bharat Mata ki – Jai!

Bharat Mata ki – Jai!

Bharat Mata ki – Jai!

Bharat Mata ki – Jai!

Thank you very much.

There are moments in the journey of development of every nation that define not only the present but also the future generations. Today is one such moment for Bharat. Our present generation is very fortunate, receiving accolades for achieving historic feats in water, land, sky, and space. Some time ago, I said in Ayodhya that this is the beginning of a new era. In this new era, Bharat is continuously increasing its space in the global order. And this is evident in our space program as well.


Last year, Bharat became the first country to unfurl the Tricolour on the South Pole of the Moon. Today, Shiv Shakti Point is acquainting the entire world with Bharat’s capabilities. Now, we are all witnessing yet another historic journey at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Just a while ago, the nation was introduced to its four Gaganyaan astronauts for the first time. These are not just four names and four individuals; they are four powers taking the aspirations of 1.4 billion people into space. An Indian is going to space after 40 years. But this time, the time is ours, the countdown is ours, and the rocket is ours too. I am delighted to have the privilege of meeting these astronauts today, conversing with them, and presenting them before the nation. I extend my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to these comrades on behalf of the entire nation. Your name is now also associated with Bharat’s success in the 21st century.

You are the trust of today's Bharat. You embody the valour, courage, and discipline of present-day Bharat. You have been toiling day and night for the past several years to enhance Bharat’s pride, striving to unfurl the Tricolour in space. You represent that ‘Amrit’ generation of Bharat which has the passion to challenge challenges. Yoga plays a significant role in your rigorous training module. The synergy of a healthy mind and a healthy body is crucial in this mission. Keep persevering and stay strong. The blessings of the nation are with you, the well wishes of the nation are with you. I also extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the colleagues of ISRO and the Gaganyaan project involved in training you.

However, I also want to express some concerns, which might sound bitter to some people. It's my earnest plea to the people of my country, especially to the media, that these four companions have been consistently practicing and striving over the past few years, without seeking recognition. But there is still much more to do, and they have to undergo many difficult challenges. They still need to push themselves further, both physically and mentally. But as is the nature of us, these four (astronauts) have now become celebrities. They might go somewhere, and someone will rush to get their autograph, wanting a selfie or a photo. The media personnel would also stand with their mikes and their families might be harassed. “How was their childhood? How did they get here?” They would go to their teachers and schools. In short, an environment might be created where obstacles could arise for them in their journey of self-discipline.

And therefore, my sincere prayer is that the real story is beginning now. The more support we give them, the more support we extend to their families, the fewer complications they will face. Let their focus be on the Tricolour in their hands, space ahead and the dream of 1.4 billion citizens - that's our resolve and the sentiment too. We should accommodate as much as we can and I think that the support of the country is crucial. The cooperation of my media colleagues is very important. So far, everything was going smoothly till their names were not revealed. But now, there might be some challenges for them. And there might be times when they too feel like, "Let's just take a selfie, what's the harm?" But we must steer clear of all such temptations.


I was also provided with detailed information about Gaganyaan before this program. Information was given to me about various equipment and their operations. I was pleased to learn that most of the equipment used in Gaganyaan are Made in India. It's a significant coincidence that while Bharat is striving to become one of the world's top three economies, at the same time, Bharat’s Gaganyaan mission is poised to take our space sector to new heights. Today, the inauguration of several projects has also taken place here. Not only will this enhance the country's capabilities in the field of world-class technology, but it will also create new opportunities for employment.

And friends,

I am pleased that women power is being given significant importance in our space sector. Whether it's Chandrayaan or Gaganyaan, the imagination of any mission is inconceivable without women scientists. Today, more than 500 women hold leadership positions in ISRO. I commend all the women scientists, technicians, and engineers present here from the bottom of my heart. This should not cause heartburns among the male members as they keep getting accolades.


Bharat’s space sector has a huge contribution of something, which often doesn't get as much attention. This contribution lies in sowing the seeds of scientific temperament among the youth. Upon witnessing ISRO's success, many children aspire to become scientists when they grow up. Watching the countdown of rockets and the lift-off inspires millions of children. Every household with a paper airplane-flying aeronautical engineer aspires to become an engineer like you, wants to become a scientist. And the enthusiasm of the youth generation for any country is a tremendous asset. I remember when the time for the landing of Chandrayaan-2 was approaching. Children from across the country were watching that moment. They learned a lot from that moment. Then followed the day of August 23 last year. The successful landing of Chandrayaan filled the youth with a new zeal. We have recognized this day as Space Day. Each one of you has contributed to the country's journey in space by providing Bharat with moments of achievement. We have set many records in the space sector. We succeeded in reaching the planet Mars in our very first attempt. Our Bharat is the country that launches more than a hundred satellites in a single mission. Even after the success of Chandrayaan, you have achieved many accomplishments. You safely navigated Aditya-L1 to its orbit, 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. Only a few countries in the world have been able to do this. It has only been a few weeks since the start of 2024, yet you have achieved success with XPoSat and INSAT-3 DS in such a short time.


You all are collectively opening new avenues of possibilities for the future. It is estimated that in the next 10 years, Bharat’s space economy will grow fivefold, reaching up to 44 billion dollars. Bharat is poised to become a significant global commercial hub in the field of space. In the next few years, we will once again venture to the Moon. And after this success, we have raised our goals. Now our missions will be even more challenging from a technological perspective. We will collect samples from the surface of the Moon and bring them back to Earth. This will enhance our knowledge and understanding of the Moon. Following this, Venus is also one of ISRO's objectives. By 2035, Bharat will have its own space station in space, which will assist us in exploring the unknown expanses of space. Not only that, an Indian astronaut will also land on the Moon using Bharat’s own rocket during the ‘Amrit Kaal’.


Bharat of the 21st century, as it becomes developed, is surprising the world with its capabilities. We have launched nearly 400 satellites in the last 10 years, whereas in the preceding 10 years, only 33 satellites were launched. There were barely one or two start-ups in the country 10 years ago. Today, their number has surpassed two hundred. Most of these start-ups have been launched by our youth. Some of them are among us today. I commend their vision, talent, and initiative. The recent space reforms have injected new momentum into this sector. Just last week, we also issued an FDI policy in the space sector. Under this policy, 100 percent foreign investment has been approved in the space sector. With this reform, major space agencies from around the world will come to Bharat, which will provide our youth with an opportunity to showcase their talent to the whole world.


Together, we have resolved to make Bharat a developed nation by 2047. The role of the space sector in achieving this resolve is immense. Space science is not just rocket science; it is also the biggest social science. Society benefits the most from space technology; everyone benefits. Today, space technology plays a significant role in various aspects in our daily lives. Whether it is monitoring crops, providing weather forecasts, cyclones and other disasters, sources of irrigation, or using maps for navigation while driving cars, many tasks are accomplished using satellite data. The strength of space is also evident behind providing accurate information to millions of fishermen in Bharat through NavIC. Our satellites not only help in keeping our borders safe, they also help in providing education, communication and health services to remote areas. Therefore, all of you, ISRO, and the entire space sector have a significant role in building a ‘Viksit Bharat’. Once again, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you. I especially congratulate Team Gaganyaan on behalf of 1.4 billion Indians! Once again, extending my best wishes to all of you, thank you very much!

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