PIC celebrated its fifth foundation day by organising a ‘Vichar Spardha’ on the thoughts of Lokmanya Tilak for the rural children of Maharashtra and a lecture on ‘Space Exploration-emerging scenario, opportunities and challenges’ by former ISRO chairman Dr. K. Radhakrishnan.

Vichar Spardha was organised in association with Gyan-Key Library, founded by Mr. Pradeep Lokhande (PIC Member). This year, 24,241 Students from various districts and talukas of Maharashtra participated in this essay competition on Lokmanya Tilak and the relevance of his thoughts on Swarajya, Swadeshi, Bahishkar and Rashtriya Shikshan in today’s context.

The shortlisting of the essays was carried out in many phases. One of the sessions was conducted in Fergusson College, where 50 students from various colleges such as Fergusson, Modern, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Garware College participated enthusiastically. Another shortlisting session was conducted at the PIC Adda at TMTC with more than 15 PIC members reading and evaluating the essays with keen interest.

On 24th September the 17 award winning students were felicitated, and they received an opportunity to interact with PIC members and other dignitaries such as Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Dr. Dileep Padgaonkar, Dr. Govind Swarup, Mr. Anil Supanekar, Mr. Ravi Pandit, Mr. Arun Firodia, Mr. Prabhakar Karandikar, Mr. Parag Karandikar, Mr. Mahesh Zagade, Prof. Amitav Mallik, Mr. Pratap Pawar, Mr. Chockalingam and others.

5th Foundation Day Lecture – On this occasion, Dr. K Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) delivered a talk on the topic ‘Space Exploration-Emerging Scenario, Opportunities and Challenges’.

The space probe Orbiter mission Mangalyaan- which was launched under the leadership of Dr. K. Radhakrishnan – has been orbiting Mars since 24th September 2014, and it was a wonderful coincidence that it shared its 2nd anniversary with the PIC Foundation Day.

Dr. Radhakrishnan spoke about how the 25 satellites of space exploration initiatives of US and Russia were oriented towards a competitive spirit, whereas India’s initiatives were development-oriented.

The strength and potential of India’s space exploration was also brought to light through the example of NISAR- a NASA and ISRO collaboration on co-developing and launching a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite, which will be launched in 2019.

Dr. Radhakrishnan reminisced fondly about the leadership at ISRO which laid the foundations of space exploration for India over the years. He mentioned the pioneering work of Dr. Homi Bhaba, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and Dr. Satish Dhawan and their visionary role in the shaping of ISRO.