labels: aerospace, indian space research organisation
ISRO and Andhra govt. renew MOUnews
26 August 2006

Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have renewed their July-2000 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the application of satellite based communication.

ISRO's director, Satellite Communiction Programme, and T V Parthasarathi, director, Information Technology and Communication Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, signed on the new MOU in Hyderabad on August 25, 2006. The state chief minister Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy and ISRO chairman Dr. G Madhavan Nair were present during the signing ceremony.

Under the renewed MOU, Andhra Pradesh will use INSAT capacity for satellite based communication in the areas of distance education, telemedicine, agricultural extension, self-help groups and others. While ISRO provides the transponder capacity on board its INSAT, as well as technical support, the Andhra Pradesh Government operates the satellite communication network for these applications.

Soon after the signing of the original MOU in July 2000, experimental transmissions began in November 2000 from ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan and subsequently, in April 2002, a satellite hub station was established at Dr B R Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad. Following this, a satellite based "Andhra Pradesh Net" was set up in March 2003.

At present, a full-fledged MANA-TV is operational with a state-of-the-art studio. MANA-TV has over 2,000 terminals and has 5 television channels and one data channel catering to the requirements of educational institutions like schools and colleges (including engineering). It is used for both formal and non-formal educational training. MANA TV is now being upgraded to include more interactive terminals as part of EDUSAT.

In recent years, under the EDUSAT programme, an exclusive network has been established that connects top fifty technical institutions/engineering colleges in India for thr transmitting of lectures by invited US experts. These lectures are transmitted under a Indo-US cooperation programme, and are delivered from Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetam, Coimbatore. Four of these fifty colleges are located in Andhra Pradesh.

In the field of telemedicine, the first pilot project was started in the state in the year 2000, connecting Apollo Hospitals at Chennai and Aragonda village as well as ISRO's hospital at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota, in Nellore District. The telemedicine network will now be extended to eight more hospitals.

Andhra Pradesh is also one of the foremost States in the utilisation of remote sensing technology for management of land and water resources and disaster management. For example, remote sensing technology is used for watershed management in drought prone districts of Adilabad, Ananthapur, Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar, Nizamabad and Ranga Reddy. Management plans for major irrigation projects like Srirama Sagara and Nagarjuna Sagara have been planned using remote sensing data. More than 35,000 bore wells have been drilled, using remote sensing data, yielding a success rate that is better than 90 per cent.

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ISRO and Andhra govt. renew MOU