The Indian Space & Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 75 student satellites to mark the 75th anniversary of India's independence. The information was given by the Indian space agency chairman S Somnath during a joint meeting of science departments and ministries.

Developed by students, the constellation of 75 satellites will be launched later this year to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Developed by students from the Chandigarh University, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, IIT-Bombay, and 11 other institutions, these satellites have been designed to promote the Internet of Things (IoT) in space.

Science & Technology Minister Jitendra Singh, who chaired the meeting said that 55 start-ups have registered within the two years that the government has opened the space sector to private industries. Out of the 55 proposals, 29 are satellite-related, 10 for space applications and products, eight are related to launch vehicles, and eight about ground systems and research.

During the meeting, Singh said nine proposals from the start-ups are expected to be completed by 2022-23. Inputs have been received on areas of participation from all departments, while the Department of Biotechnology and ISRO have submitted their preference for leading in solution development/deployment for a few challenges.

The minister further added that different scientific applications for sectors like agriculture, food, education, skill, railways, roads, Jal Shakti, power, and coal to name a few are being worked out since the launch of the initiative in September last year. Meanwhile, CSIR with the help of the North Eastern Council (NEC) has identified 50 problems requiring S&T intervention in north-eastern states and the same has been shared with the Department of Science & Technology and is being shared with the Ministry of DONER.

The latest development comes as India pushes to launch three bog missions this year, which include the Chandryaan-3 mission to the Moon, the Aditya L-1 mission that will study the Sun, and the most ambitious uncrewed launch of the Gaganyaan mission. While Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L-1 looks to be in the final stages of their preparedness, the launch of the Gaganyaan mission could be delayed.