ISRO planning space university in Kerala

Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to set up a space training center or a university in Kerala to meet the shortage of space scientists.

Speaking to reporters here Monday, ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair said the organization indeed was planning such an institute.

According to media reports, the proposed institute is expected to come up on the outskirts of the state capital on a 100-acre plot. It would be modeled on the lines of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai.

One reason why ISRO is planning such an institution is that its Vikram Sarabhai Space Center here faces a crisis due to large-scale retirement of staff members.

It was in the 1970s that large-scale recruitment was done. With most of the staff having either retired or on the verge of retirement, there is a crunch of experienced personnel.

Veteran space scientist S. Nambinarayanan, who retired seven years back after 35 years of service at the center here said that setting up a space university should have been thought of long ago.

"I am happy to hear this (news of a proposed university). Better late than never. In the West, most universities have aerospace departments and here it is none," said Nambinarayanan.

Another reason for the crunch in qualified personnel is that the newly recruited engineers are picked up after a year or two by private companies.

"The salaries offered in the private sector for engineers who have some experience are very high. This is going to be a problem for ISRO and it is better that it sorts it out," he added.

Source: IANS
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