Spaceships go green, says ISRO chief Sivan

Space grade lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, too

Referring to high-tech manufacturing, he called for increased efforts towards private and public sector partnerships and joint ventures, Dr Sivan says at SRMIST convocation.

KATTANKULATHUR, Tamil Nadu, Dec 26 (BNC Network) - Stressing the need to check environmental damage in economic growth, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan has said the organisation is developing green propulsion for its human spaceflight mission.  

In future, all the propulsive stages may adopt green propulsion, Dr Sivan, who is also the Union Space Secretary, said addressing students virtually at the 16th Annual Convocation of SRM Institute of Science & Technology (SRMIST), Kattankulathur.

ISRO has done the technology transfer of its space grade lithium-ion batteries to industry, he said and explained it would be useful for mass adoption of electrical vehicles without remaining perpetually dependent on foreign sources.

Referring to high-tech manufacturing, he called for increased efforts towards private and public sector partnerships and joint ventures to benefit from investments and technology transfer and increase skills among workers to make them more employable.

The Government has already announced space sector reforms for greater participation of nongovernmental entities in space activities, he said and declared “Our next PSLV launch will have satellites from start-up agencies as first product of these reforms.”

Dr Sivan said priority should also be given to train and attract world-class talent. India’s growing economy, focus on technology-intensive sectors and the changing nature of employment will drive demand for high-quality talent, he said.

Talking of opportunities, he recalled that the job scenario was not as vibrant as today when I graduated more than three decades ago. Areas of specialization limited the career options. Today, the options are many. However, there is an added volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity about the global economy.

Narrating his own experience, he reminded the students that they might not get their dream jobs or create a successful business simply by wishing for it. College and career might not work in tandem. “I was always denied my first choice. After high school, I wanted to study engineering but ended up studying BSc. Mathematics. Later, I got into Engineering and wanted to Join ISAC at Bangalore but ended up joining VSSC. In VSSC also, I wanted to join the Aerodynamics group but ended up joining PSLV project,” he said.

“At every stage of my life, I never got what I wanted as first choice. Nevertheless, I learned a valuable lesson. Life and career are not about making best choices in life but are about making the best of the opportunity available to you. I also understood that when something is denied to you, something bigger is waiting for you,” he said.

Quoting Dalai Lama, Dr Sivan said “Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”.

He also advised students to brace for calculated risks and innovation. “You may fail, but each failure will provide valuable lesson. I can say with great confidence that India’s space program has been built on spectacular failures. Each failure has resulted in improvements in our system,” he said.

He said innovation is not just having a bright idea on paper. Innovation is how you implement that idea. Innovation comes with a high risk of failure. “You may be called crazy, and the initial outcomes of innovation could be imperfect. I need not tell you, how many times Edison failed to invent light bulb. You all must realize that if you are not failing then you are not trying hard,” he said.

In all 17,204 students belonging to the Faculties of Engineering and Technology, Science and Humanities, Medicine & Health Sciences and Management studies including 129 Ph.D. scholars received their degrees. Rankers totalling 244 were awarded medals for having secured First, Second, and the Third rank in their programmes. The event was held virtually as per the protocol of the Government of Tamil Nadu due to the ongoing pandemic.

Dr Sivan made a special mention of the teachers who in their own way have contributed to shaping young minds. This must be a day of pride for all the parents assembled here to see their children graduate, he said.
Endowment award in the name of Tmt Pachimmal Palanimuthu for the best outgoing MBBS student and Tmt Swarnam & Dr. Krishnamoorthy Endowment award for the best overall outgoing student of SRM Medical College Hospital & Research Center was awarded to Ms. Kritika Wadhwa for topping among all students in the final year and in the overall duration of the course in MBBS programme. Endowment in the name of Tmt Lakshmi and Dr. Renganathan for the best outgoing BDS student of SRM Kattankulathur Dental College and Hospital will be awarded to K. Shyam Sharma.
In his address Dr. T. R. Paarivendhar, founder chancellor of SRM Institute of Science & Technology and Lok Sabha Member, praised Dr. Sivan the chief mission architect for successfully launching 104 satellites in a single mission of PSLV. “He has taken our country to a different height in the space research parallel to a few of the advanced countries," Dr Paarivendhar said.
The Annual Report was presented by Vice Chancellor of SRMIST, Dr. Sandeep Sancheti. The Convocation was held in the presence of SRMIST’s Pro Chancellor (Administration) Shri Ravi Pachamoothoo, Pro Chancellor (Academic) Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan, Chairman of Ramapuram & Trichy campuses Dr. R. Shivakumar, Pro Vice Chancellor (E&T) Dr. C. Muthamizhchelvan, Pro Vice Chancellor (S&H) Dr. R Balasubramanian, Pro VC (Medical) Lt. Col. Dr. A. Ravi Kumar, Registrar Dr. N Sethuraman and COE Dr. S.Ponnusamy among others.


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