In a first of its kind exercise, senior scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will sit down with more than 80 top officials of Central and state governments Monday to assess how they can help them in improving the functioning of their respective departments through use of space technologies or applications.
The one-day meeting has been organised on the initiative of the Prime Minister’s Office, which controls the Department of Space and is said to be keen to ensure that the advances in space technology are utilised to more useful effect in governance and development activities.
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Secretaries of almost every government department and chief secretaries of all the states are scheduled to attend the meeting that will have discussions around nine themes including Agriculture, Energy and Environment, or Infrastructure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the closing session during which presentations would be made to him summing up the day’s discussions.
Other themes on which the discussions will be held are Water, Development Planning, Communication and Navigation, Weather and Disaster Management, Health and Education, and Technology Diffusion. Each of these sessions would involve presentations from 5-10 Secretaries of relevant ministries and departments and one state government and it would be followed by discussions. Each session will be moderated by an ISRO scientist. The ministries, departments or state governments will talk about their schemes and programmes and ISRO representatives will suggest the possible interventions that space technologies can make.
The meeting comes in the wake of one-on-one meetings that ISRO chairman A K Kiran Kumar had with more than 70 Secretaries of the Central government, and CMs and officials of almost every state government.
The idea to prod government departments to utilise space technologies originated last year after Modi visited the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore to witness the entry of Mangalyaan in Mars orbit.