New Delhi: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Ministry of Science and Technology, in New Delhi today so that CSIR-NPL can provide time and frequency traceability services to ISRO.

According to the MoU, CSIR-NPL will take all necessary actions to support time and frequency traceability services from the National Time Scale of CSIR-NPL to IRNWT-I and IRNWT-II of ISTRAC/ISRO through 2-way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer (TWSTFT). It will also provide time and frequency traceability services from the national time scale of CSIR-NPL to IRNWT-I and IRNWT-II of ISTRAC/ISRO through GNSS CV. Further, it will carry out the annual audit of IRNWT-I and IRNWT-II as per ISO/IEC 17025 for ensuring correctness and accuracy of the time traceability.

The MoU came into force from the date of signing of the agreement and shall remain valid for a period of 5 years thereafter. Subsequently, the MoU will be renewed on mutual agreement between CSIR-NPL and ISTRAC/ISRO.

The agreement will make India’s satellite clocks accurate. It will lead to the development of an indigenous global positioning system (GPS). The country will no longer have to depend on US systems for precision time measurements. The deal will boost cyber security.

The navigation system NavIC is expected to reach the market in 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that scientists of two premier scientific institutions, NPL and ISRO, have made great efforts in this direction and he applauded them for their contribution. He further said that this is a very important landmark and an occasion to acknowledge the great contribution of our scientists. The minister said that no less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi encourages scientists to achieve these landmarks. He elaborated that NPL has one of the 5 atomic clocks in India and the people should be encouraged to visit the laboratories and understand science and its contribution to the development of the country.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the agreement was very important for ISRO. He said that time was very important and synchronisation is essential for ISRO projects. Highlighting the achievements of ISRO, he said that one of the main achievements of the Department of Space is that we have successfully and consistently widened the use of space technology to various fields. He said that the Prime Minister takes a keen interest in the scientific developments and does personal monitoring of these developments.

The minister said that ISRO had achieved many milestones in the recent past e.g. successful launching of the highest number of satellites, completion of 1,000 days of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the launch of South Asia Satellite etc. He said that ISRO had already signed MoUs with various ministries and departments, which were contributing to the social applications of space technology. The ISRO has signed MoU with Ministry of Agriculture for Geo-MNREGA, with Ministry of Railways for guarding the railway crossings. ISRO is also contributing to the smart city programme and other initiatives, he added.

The ISRO has signed an MoU with Ministry of Agriculture for Geo-MNREGA, another with Ministry of Railways for guarding the railway crossings. ISRO is also contributing to the Smart City Programme and other initiatives, he added.

VV Srinivasan, Director, ISTRAC on behalf of ISRO and DK Aswal Director, NPL, on behalf of CSIR. The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh witnessed the signing of MoU. The DG, CSIR, Dr Girish Sahni, and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

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