Beyond Earth: Revolutionising Space Education in India

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Posted on May 2, 2024


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Beyond Earth Revolutionising Space Education in India

A billion plus Indians waited with bated breath to hear and view the status of Chandrayaan-3. Soon, the country rejoiced, achieving a remarkable milestone.

India- Shooting Ahead

In July 2023 when the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched the
Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, India made history. Soon came the news of Vikram lander’s touchdown
with the Pragyan Rover at the South Pole of moon. A while later India launched the Aditya-L1 Solar
Observatory. All these in a span of few months and with many years of behind the scene research
and technology from the most brilliant of minds that marked the success. It is of no surprise that
India is slated to be a pioneer and superpower in space research and related activities in the coming

According to the data projected by IN-SPACe (The Indian Space Promotion and Authorization Centre)
the Indian space economy will touch 44 million dollars and constitute 8 percent of the global space,
up from the current 2, in the next ten years. This is mammoth growth and to make these great
strides, India needs skilled workforce and brilliance of mind. We needed scientist, astronauts,
astrophysicists, space entrepreneurs, space educators, researchers, and so much more combined
with avant garde facilities to nurture these talents.

Significance of Space Education

There is enthusiasm and curiosity stemming from the field of Space Education today. Especially from
students in school and their guardians. There will be many opportunities for students with skills that
match this niche sector in the coming years. This also brings us to an imperative object for the
coming years – introduction of robust knowledge lessons in the K-12 curriculum around this field.

Space Education needs to start in the classrooms but can not be confined there. It has to stretch
beyond textbooks and break the norm of rote learning, it needs to thrive via immersive experiential
learning which will boost the learning outcomes. Using digital technology, a string of innovative
modules which also work not just on theory but fundamentals of research, team work, problem
solving, collaboration and adaptability needs to be put forth.

The allocations for distinct Space Education programmes within schools and colleges need to be the
first step. Alongside regular courses within the school curriculum, there is also the need for
substantial development of space institutes in the country. There is a demand for specialised
research centres and laboratories which can steer projects in space exploration. The cutting-edge
technology used in Space Science is unique and needs focused efforts to develop. To this means
collaborations with international agencies, universities and organisations will also be crucial.

Last but not the least, it’s imperative for Space Education to reach the last mile. Outreach and
promotion of programmes through regular workshops and scholarships for remarkable talent at the
grassroot level will go a long way in inspiring and identifying the future leaders.

It would be ambitious to rely only on governmental support to achieve brilliance in initiatives in a
country which boasts of a population above a billion. Public-private partnerships will go a long way
in paving this path.

Hope on the Horizon

There is optimism as we write this note, and as we look around at the recent initiatives within the
country to help bolster the efforts in this direction. SPACE India in collaboration with ISRO has
introduced Space Tutor, a programme to advance the learning experience of space enthusiasts both
within and beyond India.

In a first, a space lab has been set up in a Bilaspur’s Ghumarwin, at the Government Senior
Secondary School. This is developed under the ISRO’s Space Tutor programme by Vyomika Space
Academy. The lab is equipped with rockets and satellite mission exhibits from Chandrayaan and
Mangalyaan alongside drones, telescopes, 3D printers, RC aircraft and so much more. Another one
has been launched in the Government Higher Secondary School Boys at Kishtwar, Jammu & Kashmir.

Entrepreneurship in the field of Space Science is also on the rise. From four start-ups, the number
has increased to 150+ in the last ten years in India, which is both promising and encouraging. As set
sight into growing into a global space superpower, a feat that can only be achieved by rigorous and
extraordinary leaps in Space Education, it’s important we up our ante and work towards a robust
education system that facilitates the same.