Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday presented the prestigious “Indian of the Year Award” for the year 2023 in the `Outstanding Achievement` category to Team ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) at a ceremony in New Delhi.

The Indian of the Year Award, bestowed by a national TV channel, was accepted by ISRO Chairman S. Somnath and Chandrayaan 3 Project Director Dr P. Veeramuthuvel during a grand ceremony in New Delhi.

The accolade acknowledges Indian Space Research Organisation`s exceptional contributions to advancing the frontiers of space exploration, as highlighted in the award citation. The citation commended Indian Space Research Organisation`s remarkable achievements in 2023, particularly noting the historic first-ever soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon`s unexplored South Polar region.

During his brief remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized the indigenous and cost-effective nature of Chandrayaan-3, with a budget of approximately Rs. 600 Crore. He credited the enabling milieu under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the success, stating that while talent was always abundant in the country, the unlocking of space technology allowed the common masses to witness mega space events like Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya.

Dr Jitendra Singh highlighted the broad public involvement in witnessing these space missions, with over 10,000 spectators, 1,000 media persons, and numerous common people present during the launches. He emphasized the sense of national ownership and belonging that these space missions have instilled in the Indian population.

Also read: ISRO puts Aditya-L1 spacecraft in final destination orbit, PM Modi hails feat

Furthermore, Dr Jitendra Singh noted the significant growth in the private space sector, with 190 private space startups and an investment exceeding Rs. 1,000 crore in the current financial year from April to December 2023. He characterized these achievements as a trilogy of success for ISRO and emphasized that India`s ascent to prominence, as envisioned by Prime Minister Modi, has already commenced through space technology.

The distinguished jury panel for the Indian of the Year Awards included iconic figures such as Harish Salve, Javed Akhtar, Justice Indu Malhotra, Anju Bobby George, Sanjiv Goenka, and Afroz Shah. 

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