Jammu: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that ascent of India to the front ranking nations has already begun with its thriving space adventures.

He said that credit for this success goes “entirely” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who unlocked space technology to private players.

“The ascent of India as a frontline nation of the world has already started through the medium of space. The next 25 years from here will be crucial for the country as said by the Prime Minister,” the Science & Technology minister said.

“The credit entirely goes to Prime Minister for unlocking space technology and opening it to private players,” he said.

Singh was addressing a conference on ‘Frontiers of Space Technology and Applications for Humanity’ at the Central University of Jammu, where he also inaugurated north India’s first-ever space centre.

“India is entering into an era when it is going to play a pivotal role in space technology with India already having taken a lead in the world as far as space technology is concerned.” He said India is earning millions in Euros and US dollars through launching of foreign satellites.

Singh cited the example of the SAARC satellite — that caters to needs of most of the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal — as a successful example of space collaboration.

He also said the satellite was “visualised and developed” on instructions of the Prime Minister.

He said that space technology for the last 70 years has been confined to South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala, which was an anomaly.

“This government is steadfast to take space technology to the remote corners of the country which is evident today with the inauguration of Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Sciences at Central University of Jammu and another Space Centre has already been established at Agartala, Tripura, with the support of Prime Minister of India who is himself a space technology enthusiast,” he said.

Singh said the space technology in the country is advanced to the stage that such premier space institutes as NASA request for footages of many space adventures captured by the ISRO.

The Minister said the level of importance this government gives to the space technology is evident in such results as the discovery of water by Chandrayaan, which could not be done even by nations with advanced space programmes.

It showed that India has already taken a lead in the field of space exploration, he said.

Singh stressed that the Jammu space centre will serve as an institution for forging of start-ups in space technology.

He called on people of the region to use this “enormous opportunity” to shape their future and get rid of the habit of depending on a government job.

He said his ministry will launch start-up-related awareness programmes across the country from next month.

The minister said that ever since Modi has taken over as Prime Minister, space technology is being applied in diverse sectors for “ease of living” for common man.

“Space and satellite technology is today being extensively used in railways, road and bridge construction, agriculture, soils, water resources, forestry and ecology, housing, tele-medicine, disaster management and accurate weather forecast to name a few,” Singh said.

ISRO Chairman Somnath S said space technology now is an integral part of life, and that safety and security of the nation will depend on how strong it is going to be in the space sector.