Sriharikota (AP): Asserting that its Rs 450- crore mission to Mars was not a wrong priority, Indian Space Research Organisation Tuesday said all the country`s space programmes are "people-centric" and every rupee has been accounted for.
Replying to a query by a foreign media whether ISRO was in a race with neighbouring China, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said "we are not in race with anyone. We are in race with ourselves.
"ISRO`s satellites are people-centric and application-centric.. I can proudly say space has brought many services to the country", he said.
Contending that India was a role model in space applications, he said "there is no question of wrong priority. In fact, this is the right priority. We have benefited the grassroot level people in the country..Scientific cost-benefit studies are being done on our programmes and every rupee is traced."
Referring to the recent cyclone which had hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, he said "our three satellites have helped evacuate people in Odisha during the recent cyclone. You can see our satellites have been put to use in many such instances."
He said Indian space programmes were aimed at helping the grassroot level people and also contribute in the understanding of science in the country. "Exploration leads to new knowledge and humankind is curious to know the existence of these planets."
Recalling all space programmes in India since 1960s, he said "if we don`t do this, we will become stagnant. The first time India planned a launch, a similar question was asked whether the country with many poor people should attempt (such a launch)."