Technology Milestones for India in 2009 – Chandrayaan, Nano and more

We covered WTF tech moments in detail and now is the time to cover the most important and inspiring technology milestones for Indian in 2009.

Here is our list.

ISRO’s Chandrayaan

Call it serendipity (or strategic choice, for the jargon freaks), ISRO Chandrayaan, within a short span (10 months to be precise) achieved what it was set to achieve in two years (and in some cases, it achieved what it wasn’t even supposed to).

The primary objectives of Chandrayaan were:

  • To construct the complex spacecraft with 11 scientific instruments.
  • To place the spacecraft in a circular orbit around the Moon by orbit raising manoeuvres from a near Earth orbit.
  • To set up a deep space tracking network and implement the operational procedures for travel into deep space.

The biggest moment for Chandrayaan came on Sep 24, 2009 when M3 (Moon Mineralogy Mapper) reported traces of water on moon. M3 detected absorption features near 2.8-3.0 µm on the surface of the Moon.

Pictures from Chandrayaan Spacecraft

Data from Chandrayaan has in a way broken the earlier theories (of no water in the moon) and scientists are now studying the mechanism of how water is produced in moon.

ISRO is now working on Chandrayaan-2 and plans to land motorised rover on the Moon in 2012. The rover will be designed to move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, do on-site chemical analysis and send the data to the mother-spacecraft Chandrayaan II, which will be orbiting above. [source]

Satyam Rehabilitation

Satyam fiasco put everybody to shame. More than a corporate scam, it was a scar for Indian IT Industry – but one has to laud NASSCOM for handling the entire fiasco in the most sensitive-yet-professional manner.

Most important part in the entire story has been the involvement of government – even now, the Union Government has urged the US Securities of Exchange Commission (SEC) not to impose penalties on Satyam as it will hurt the shareholders and the confidence of rehabilitation of the company.

While the case sends out strong signals to corporate India, it was also an important milestone for Indian IT industry where there were foreign lobbies working against the Indian IT story .

Nandan Nilekani & UID Project

The super ambitious Unique Identity Project is under a constant radar – and quite early to predict the execution plan (can something of this magnitude really happen?).

Announcement of UID project is a milestone in itself, as the possibilities of uniquely identified citizens presents you unlimited opportunities – be it for healthcare services, government disbursements, loan disbursements and several other services (it’s like a facebook app with a billion userbase!).

Most importantly, Nandan Nilekani taking over the project – a hard core professional taking this entrepreneurial route (of getting onto a new territory where there is no propensity to get things done) is quite inspiring.

Tata Nano Launch

What was perceived as an impossible and crazy idea finally saw the day when Tata Nano was launched on March 3rd, 2009. Too early to say whether the project is successful (like any great product, it will also go through multiple iterations), but what has really happened henceforth is the awareness of creating low-cost-yet-high-quality product purely targeted towards Indian consumers (especially Bottom of Pyramid).

Tata later launched Tata Swach, Godrej launched Chotukool refrigerator and even other automobile players have started working on their Nano models.

Not that Tata created any BoP industry, but what they did during the entire Nano launch was to boost the confidence in Indian Technology products/IP and using that to solve a common man’s need. Infact, they have created a ‘Nano’ economy and it’s for real.

Decoding Human Genome

India has successfully mapped the human genome that will help develop effective drug development in the country, an achievement that puts the country among an elite league of six countries that have achieved the feat so far.

The feat was achieved in less than two and half months time by a group of scientists at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), a lab of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the top science research body of the country. It was done at a cost of $30,000. (source)

What’s your opinion on milestone achievements for Indian technology story?

[With inputs from team.]

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