Reclaim 147 mn hectares of degraded land to save agriculture: Isro chief

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Dhanbad : The future of agriculture in India depends on reclaiming 147 million hectares of land which has been degraded for various reasons, A S Kiran Kumar, the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), has said.

Isro has launched a host of satellites that provide accurate information on weather: another vital area for the progress of agriculture. He was speaking at the 30th annual convocation of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) here on Saturday.

On the occasion, Kumar handed over medals and certificates to the graduating students.

Jemi Joseph, an undergraduate student, received 13 gold medals besides cash certificates. She is currently studying MSc in Agriculture Chemistry and aspires to become a scientist. She hails from Ernakulam, Kerala. Her father works for a private company while her mother is a schoolteacher.

Jemi said the agricultural scenario in Kerala was worrisome as many farmers had given up the occupation.

According to her, one of the major reasons is that soil in many parts of Kerala has turned acidic and could not grow even a blade of grass. She called for rejuvenating and transforming the acidic land. She said she aimed to carry out research in land rejuvenation to help farmers.

Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary, Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare Department, and an alumnus of the UAS-D, received an honorary doctorate. UAS Vice-Chancellor D P Biradar presided over the convocation. More than 1,000 students from various departments received their degrees.

Isro’s heavy lift launch vehicle flight in June
Isro is planning the developmental flight of its next generation heavy lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk III by early June, chairman of the space agency A S Kiran Kumar said. This will establish Isro’s indigenous capability in launching four-tonne class communication satellites. It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L11) and a cryogenic stage (C25).

GSLV Mk III-D1 is the first developmental flight carrying the GSAT-19 satellite. The first experimental flight of GSLV-Mk III was successfully conducted on December 18, 2014, which validated the complex atmospheric regime of the flight and demonstrated the integrity of GSLV Mk III design.

Source: Deccan Herald

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