Speaking at Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), after witnessing the successful launch of five foreign satellites by an Indian rocket - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), our beloved Prime Minister Modi Ji said: "I believe technology is fundamentally connected to common man. It can transform his life. It is the global endorsement of India's space capability inspired by Atal Bihari Vajpayee's vision.
Most of the Indians take Atal Ji in highest regards. He was a statesman par excellence. However, in view of PM's statement about Atal Ji'c contribution in the development of ISRO DEVELOPMENT, we have had to read into retrospect and check the facts of history.
ISRO was established in the year 1969 to focus the talent of Indian researchers into advancing the space program. There were several fledgling projects that formed the base for setting up the ISRO like the INCOSPAR (Indian Committee for Space Research) guided by Prof Sarabhai and the Tata Institute of Fundamental research (TIFR) and the Rohini Sounding Rocket (RSR) program. The success of the fledgling projects laid the cornerstone and foundation for the formation of the ISRO in 1969. Initially, there were trying times with the Indian government being unable to focus on solely on expanding the space project. The ISRO however did manage to get active support from the government when the Indian government started a Space Commission and handed over the running of the entire space program to the Department of Space (DoS) in 1972. ISRO came under the DoS management on 1st June 1972. It is the primary research and development body of the DoS. During the initial stages of the formation of ISRO, the socio-political conditions from hostile neighbors and the prevailing economic conditions during 1960-1970, forced India to initiate its own launch vehicle programs. It successfully developed rocket programs and by 1980, the first Satelite launch vehicle SLV was created. The Indian space research program set a precedent for the space community in 2008 when it became the first country to launch ten satellites on a single rocket in the year 2008.
And here is Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpaye's contribution to ISRO:
In a unique function held at ISRO's launching Centre at Sriharikota, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, today (September 5, 2002) named the Centre as Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR by unveiling a specially erected plaque at Sriharikota, remotely from his residence at New Delhi. Prof Satish Dhawan, who passed away on January 03, 2002, was the Chairman of ISRO from 1972 to 1984, which were its formative years.
Unveiling the plaque from New Delhi, the Prime Minister said that Prof Satish Dhawan was a multi-faceted personality, truly, one of the most distinguished Indians of our times - a brilliant aeronautical engineer, an outstanding space scientist, a philosopher, a humanist, and above all, a great visionary. "His unique human qualities, combining intense personal charm with a deep commitment to social values and an extraordinary objectivity in management, led several generations of students, colleagues and administrators to efforts that, perhaps, would not have been undertaken otherwise" he said and added that scrupulous objectivity and deep concern for the society's problems always marked his leadership.
Saying that Sriharikota launch range occupies a prominent position in the space atlas of the world by having launched all ISRO satellite launch vehicles like SLV, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV, the Prime Minister said that by naming this important space establishment as Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, India is paying its humble tribute to Prof Satish Dhawan, who epitomizes the value system that goes with excellence, professionalism and, above all, deepest commitment to the growth of science and technology and their implications to the society and its overall progress. He expressed confidence that those working in the Indian space programme, especially at Sriharikota, will draw inspiration from late Prof Satish Dhawan's life and take this programme to a higher level of excellence.
There is no denying that Atal ji inspired the nation in his unique poetic and visionary style. However, it would have further enhanced the status of Modi Ji if we would have given credit to the real visionaries who had founded and nourished ISRO even if they belonged to Congress or rest of the political out-fits.