“Shifting of Gaganyan project is political: DKS

City Politics

The Congress leader led an NSUI protest against supposed plans to shift some programmes to Gujarat.

The National Students Union of India (NSUI),  along with DK Shivakumar protested against the shifting of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Indian human space flight programme to Gujarat.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shiv kumar said that the government is privatizing the project. “The government is attempting to outsource ISRO’s programmes, forming a public-private partnership in the process. Why can’t they just start over in Gujarat with a fresh project?” he said.

 “This was just a symbolic protest to communicate to ISRO. We will have a massive protest later if the shifting is confirmed,”said Shivakumar.

If the government wants they can come up with projects in Gujarat, but they should not shift the programmes in Bangalore to Gujarat,” he said

Shivakumar said that there are many internal issues within ISRO. “The Unions of ISRO are fighting for their rights, they have not received any promotions and have been harassed as well,” he said.

Emphasizing that ISRO is India’s, Karnataka’s, and Bangalore’s pride, he said that people are feeling humiliated because of the shifting.

Reports suggest that ISRO is considering the prospect of establishing a ‘mirror’ control centre in Gujarat as the space agency plans to launch Gaganyaan by 2023, making India the fourth country after the United States, Russia, and China to send a manned crew into space. ISRO is said to have started a ‘feasibility study’ in Gujarat to build a new module and even a rehabilitation centre for astronauts. The Gagayanyaan project’s nerve centre in Bengaluru, ISTRAC, has already begun renovations, and an ad-hoc astronaut training centre is expected to open in December. There has been no official ‘shift’ order issued.

The NSUI members sloganeered as they said, ‘ISRO Nammadu’, ‘We want justice’, and ‘BJP down down’.

Rakesh, a NSUI member said,that why should we shift to Gujarat, just because the Prime Minister is from there? “ISRO is the pride of Karnataka. We will go on a hunger strike if you choose to take it away from us,” he added.

Surbhi Dwivedi, the national secretary of Indian Youth Congress said there is no clarity on the government’s motives under this regime. “We want to know the details from the government, which is whyso many scientists wrote to DK sir,” she said.

D.K. Shivakumar said he has written to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister about this issue, and hopes this will be resolved soon.

ISRO has refused to comment on the protest.