Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the man who brought about the revolution of space science and technology in India, is being remembered by people across the country today on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary. “Remembering Dr Vikram Sarabhai on his birth centenary. Considered the father of our space programme, Dr Sarabhai was a stalwart of Indian science. He built several institutions; mentored & inspired generations of scientists. We cherish his services and his legacy,” tweeted the President of India Mr Ram Nath Kovind.
A famous quote by Dr Vikram Sarabhai says “There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
After convincing the government of the importance of space programmes for a developing country, Dr Vikram Sarabhai with the help of Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, who is known as the father of India’s nuclear science program, started the Indian Space Programme with the launch of the first sounding rocket from Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 21 November 1963.
While setting up Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements, he was also instrumental in establishing various other prestigious institutions in India such as:
- Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad (known as cradle of space science in India)
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
- Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad
- Darpan Academy for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad (along with his wife)
- Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
- Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad (This institution came into existence after merging six institutions/centres established by Sarabhai)
- Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), Kalpakkam
- Variable Energy Cyclotron Project, Calcutta
- Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad
- Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Jaduguda, Bihar
(With inputs from ISRO website)