Important Topics: Space Based Platform For Common Man


The Indian space programme started 20 years late than developed countries but today it has emerged as one among the six leading space facing nations by achieving self-reliance in technologies for building powerful rockets, satellites for earth observation of communication etc.

Historical Background

  • Indian space programme started with a launch of rocket from beaches of Thumbain 1963 carrying a payload to study the winds in upper atmosphere and ionosphere.
  • For space exploration, a Space Science and Technology Centre at Thumba had been set up. Later, this becameVikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
  • The SLV 3 was the first launcher which placed a 50 kg Rohini satellite into earth’s orbit in 1980.
  • Aryabhatta and Bhaskara were the first two satellite developed for establishing our competence in space craft technology.
  • India is the only country which embarked on development of space programme in civilian domain and scientist Dr. Vikram Sarbhai has not only seen the potential of space technology but also its application for benefit of common man. Technology

  • Tool for socio-economic development through the benefit of common man.

(a) Mapping & Monitoring cultivated areas by providing early warning of pest attack & drought condition. This helps farmers in taking corrective action and in fertilizer movements and date for crop issues.

(b) Forest Coverage: Managing periodic monitoring of environment and detect damages if any by human intervention or natural countries like forest fires etc.

(c) Assessment of Water Coverage: Assessment of quality of water in ponds, lakes & dams help in better water management. A pilot project namely 'Rajiv Gandhi drinking water mission’ initiated by ISRO is unique in using satellite images to identify potential zones for water and information is used for digging of bore wells in states like Rajashtan & Madhya Pradesh.

(d) Identification of potential fishing zone: By analysing colour of ocean, surface temperature and wind condition, Oceansat can identify areas in sea where fish will assemble & such data is communicated to fisherman helping them to improve yield.

(e) Watershed development: Using remote sensing, water bodies around a region are assessed. Also, the suitability of land is assessed which in turn helps in developing a sustainable cropping pattern.

(f) Geostationary Communication Satellites:

  • Communication and DTH television through these satellites is most effective and far reaching, connecting this vast country sparking nearly 3.29 million square Km.
  • In disaster management these satellite can communicate in case of energy to remote and in accessible places.
  • In 1975, an initiative with NASA named Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) – intended for beaming socially relevant TV programmes to remote villages aiming at educating villages on health hygiene and good agricultural practices was launched by ISRO.

(g) Telemedicine: Through this patient information is sent to specialist via the satellite and doctor can conduct tele conference with patient, can provide prescription or advise to follow by patient. Today about 382 hospitals in rural & semi-urban areas are connected to about 60 super specialty hospitals in metros & more than 3 lakh patients are getting benefited from this.

(h) EDUSAT: ISRO launched EDUSAT in 2004 to meet demand for an interactive satellite based distance learning education system for country today about 60,000 classrooms are connected in EDUSAT network.

(i) Disaster Management: In this case satellite provides instantaneous assessment of damages & inputs for mitigation measures. In case of cyclones and heavy weather incidents INSAT identify them and early warning can be issued. This information can be used by authorities to evacuate disaster prone area and avoid loss of life. INSAT satellites also have transponders to relay distress signals from boat, ships or aircrafts when they are in danger, helping in resource and search operation.

(j) Use in GPS: ISRO has developed its own navigation system (IRNS) to provide more accurate position and timing signals over Indian region & its neighbourhood.


ISRO has truly lived up to the vision of Dr. Sarabhai in mastering the complex technologies of Rockets and spacecraft. It has also made innovative application touching the lives of people.
A survey conducted by an independent agency had brought out the direct and indirect benefits for exceeded the investment made by government and helped India to become world leader in application of space technology for improving quality of life for common man.


"Uniqueness of Indian space programme is that it is able to use space based platforms for implementing various applications programmes which touches the day to day life of the common man". In this context explain the work done by ISRO to help in making India's common man's life better. (200 words)


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