Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is partnering with National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK) to carryout advanced joint research and development activities in the area of space technology applications. This partnership will see ISRO set-up a Regional Academic Centre for Space (RAC-S) at NITK Surathkal and the two agencies are set to sign a MoU in this regard on January 3.
The MoU will facilitate advanced research in areas of relevance to future technological and programmatic needs of Indian Space Programme. The centre will act as facilitator for promotion of space technology activities in southern region comprising Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep and become an ambassador for capacity building, awareness creation and R&D activities of ISRO.
The activities of RAC-S will be directed to maximize the use of the research potential, infrastructure, expertise and experience already existent in ISRO and NITK. The RAC-S will also facilitate and engage other institutes of excellence in the region to take part in capacity building, awareness creation and research and development activities related to space technology, space science and space applications.
The RAC-S will consist of faculty members and researchers from NITK and visiting scientists and experts from ISRO. Activities will be guided by a joint policy and management committee (JPMC) consisting of top executives from two organizations. The JPMC will plan the promotional activities including the research programmes of common interest and periodically review such research programmes and related activities.
JPMC will also facilitate collaborative activities between the partner institutions of southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep. ISRO will provide necessary annual grant as recommended by the JPMC to the tune of Rs 2 crore per year for the conduct of research and development projects, promotional activities and administrative expenses.
The joint research and development activity will actively engage students of NITK and partner institutions. While BTech and MTech students will be engaged in carrying out short term research projects of one year duration, PhD students will be engaged in long term projects of 2-4 years relevant to advancement of space programme. Eligible students will also receive research fellowships during the project period.
ISRO and NITK will jointly own the intellectual property generated as part of this research activity. A one day workshop on space technology applications will also be held in NITK after the MoU signing ceremony. Four senior scientists from ISRO will deliver lectures on latest research and development work being conducted in ISRO as part of this workshop. They will also interact with faculty members and students of NITK.
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