Taking a dig at the Modi government, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said India’s space programme has always been powered by locally made parts and components and any suggestion that this started happening only after 2014 is a “complete distortion of fact”.
Participating in the discussion on India’s Glorious Space Journey in the Rajya Sabha, Ramesh said that India’s successful space programme has been the result of continuity in governance.
“The Hon’ble Leader of the House (Piyush Goyal) said we are now making things in India. We have always been making things in India. Larsen & Toubro, Walchandnagar Industries, there are so many Indian companies I can think of which have been associated with Indian space programme going back to the 1970s. To say that suddenly in 2014 we have started making things for our space programme is a complete distortion of fact,” he said.
Narrating India’s journey in the space sector since the 1960s, the senior Congress leader said that the Indian space programme has always been based on creative partnership between the Indian private sector and the Indian public sector.
“Our nuclear reactors are made in India. Our rockets are made in India. Our launchers are made in India. Our satellites are made in India. And they were being made in India before 2014,” Ramesh said, taking aim at the Modi government.
He noted that the announcement of Chandrayaan was first made by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the August 15, 2003.
“After 2003 you had Chandrayaan 1 in 2008. You had Chandrayaan 2 in 2019 and you have Chandrayaan 3 in 2023. What does it mean? It means there is continuity in governance,” the senior Congress leader said.
Listing out various milestones in India’s space journey over the past decades starting in the 1960s, Ramesh said the Indian space programme should be looked at as an instrument of development and not as an instrument of “muscular nationalism”.
Initiating discussion on the topic, Union Minister Goyal earlier said that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made the entire nation proud by conducting successful landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the moon’s surface.
He highlighted India’s cost-effectiveness in the space sector and said many countries want to join India’s space mission.