Isro launches the first RAC-S center focused on students from South India at NITK

MANGALURU: The first Center of the Regional Academy for Space (RAC-S) in South India and the fourth in the country by (Isro) was inaugurated on Friday at the Karnataka National Institute of Technology (NITK), Surathkal.

In this context, Isro and NITK signed a memorandum of understanding. It was signed by P V Venkitakrishnan, director of the Office of the Capacity Building Program (CBPO), Isro and K Umamaheshwar Rao, director, NITK, Surathkal. The exclusive center aims to carry out advanced research in the relevant areas for the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space program.

The center will act as a facilitator for the promotion of space technology activities in the southern region comprising Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep and will become an ambassador for capacity development, awareness building and activities of R&D of Isro.

RAC-S activities will be aimed at maximizing the use of the research, infrastructure, experience and experience potential that exists in ISRO and NITK. The RAC-S will also facilitate and involve other institutes of excellence in the region to participate in capacity building, awareness building and research and development activities related to space technology, space science and space applications.

The RAC-S will consist of faculty members and researchers from NITK and visiting scientists and experts from ISRO. The activities will be guided by a joint policy and management committee (JPMC) composed of senior executives from two organizations. The JPMC will plan promotional activities that include research programs of common interest and periodically review such research programs and related activities.

JPMC will also facilitate collaborative activities between the associated institutions of the southern states, while Isro will provide the necessary annual grant for the sum of Rs 2 crore per year to carry out research and development projects, promotional activities and expenses administrative

The joint research and development activity will actively involve NITK students and partner institutions. While BTech and MTech students will participate in the realization of short-term research projects lasting one year, PhD students will participate in 2-4 years long-term projects relevant to the advancement of the space program. Eligible students will also receive research grants during the project period.

Isro and NITK will own the intellectual property generated jointly as part of this research activity.

Venkitakrishnan, interacting with the media after signing the memorandum of understanding, said this center is one of the bahus (daughter-in-law in Hindi) among the many bahus from Isro, and I expected it to work better. We will give unlimited power to this center to carry out any activity, and it is student-centered, while there are other centers focused on the faculty. The center will be responsible for incubation and investigation, he said.

The other three RAC-S of Isro are found at MNIT Jaipur, Gauhati University and Kurukshetra University.

The RAC-S configuration in NITK, Surathkal, will receive an initial financing of Rs 2 crore. Venkitakrishnan said Isro hopes that collaboration with NITK will generate interest for space technology incubators.

“Many new businesses generally perish in a few years due to several reasons. However, Isro plans to help those who come with new space technology companies by offering products and help in innovative thinking. There are future plans to help the best new companies with funds and other requirements, ”he said, adding that the responsibility for the success of RAC-S is with NITK, Surathkal. RAC-S will also help offer academic degrees related to space technology.

Two more centers in the pipe: Isro chief

Dr. K Sivan, president, Isro, and secretary, DoS, government of India, in a video message, during the workshop on space technology applications, said there are two more centers in the pipeline at NIT, Patna and BHU. “All these centers are established in Tier 2 cities where there is not much talk about space technology. These centers will develop interest among the young generation in rocket and satellite technology and will also use it for the betterment of society.

He added that RAC-S will cover Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Puducherry. “Today Isro is venturing into new arenas such as navigation systems, Gaganyaan and others. It is essential to strengthen academic collaboration and at the same time spread the traces of space technology in different parts of the country, ”he said. He also highlighted how RAC-S will play a fundamental role in space technology.