JALUKBARI, July 17 - Gauhati University and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space, have entered into a bilateral, institutional agreement to set up a Regional Academic Centre for Space (RAC-S) to carry out research and developmental projects which are of relevance to the future technological and programmatic needs of the Indian space programme.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards this end was signed today by Dr P V Venkitakrishnan, Director, CBPO, ISRO (Department of Space, Govt of India), Bengaluru and Prof Nani Gopal Mahanta, Registrar, Gauhati University in the presence of GU Vice Chancellor Dr Mridul Hazarika. The event was also attended by Prof BC Goswami, Vice Chancellor, Cotton University and representatives from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (IASST), besides faculty members, researchers and officials of GU.
The idea of establishing a direct linkage between ISRO and Gauhati University to expand the role of space research in teaching and educational systems in the NE region in particular, was first mooted by Dr K Kasturirangan, former chairman, ISRO during his visit to GU in 2018, to deliver the convocation address. Subsequently Dr Venkitakrishnan and Dr MA Paul, Associate Director, RESPOND (Research Sponsored by ISRO), paid an exploratory visit to GU and firmed up a proposal to set up the RAC-S after discussion with the GU Vice Chancellor.
The RAC-S is being set up at GU as part of the capacity building programme of ISRO under which the R & D activities will be carried out through its RESPOND programme that aims to enhance academic base, generate human resources and infrastructure at the academic institutes to support the Indian space programme.
RAC-S will act as a regional hub for research related to space science and technology and application areas, catering to academic institutions of all the eight north-eastern states under the guidance of a Joint Policy and Management Committee (JPMC) to be chaired by the GU Vice Chancellor and co-chaired by the Director, CBPO, ISRO.
There will also be a Regional Coordination Council (RCC) with representatives from associated academic/research institutions of the NE states. Necessary financial grant will be provided by ISRO for research programmes which will be selected through a robust peer review process while its overall management is vested with Gauhati University.