IIT Kanpur launches first-of-its-kind department on Space Science & Astronomy

India could take a leadership role in future space technologies in the world

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has launched a Space Science & Astronomy department.

The Board of Governors (BoG) of IIT Kanpur, on the back of the recommendations from the academic senate, has approved the first-of-its-kind Space Science and Astronomy department in India.

According to Abhay Karandikar, Director at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the department brings together, “engineers, astronomers, astrophysicists, and planetary scientists to meet the growing requirement of education, training and research in some vital areas of space research.”

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“Setting up the department is very timely considering that the space technology domain is being opened up for the private players in the country as well as in the world. India could take a leadership role in future space technologies in the world,” he added.

The department will offer Masters and PhD degree programs focused on instrumentation engineering, data analytics and space robotics. The department also plans to establish partnerships with ISRO and other space industry and startups for R&D and capacity building.

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“The department is expected to answer some pertinent questions in the field of Space Science and make significant contributions towards enriching the theoretical and inquisitive narrative developing around the solar system,” added Karandikar.

Additionally, the existing design programme has been parlayed into a full-fledged department. Nachiketa Tiwari, currently the head of the design programme, will pilot the design department. The department will have a cell to incorporate the industry needs including product conceptualisation and development, engineering design, product design, user experience, branding and packaging. The institute is also working on starting a Bachelor of Design programme by 2023.  

The recent initiatives at IIT Kanpur include four new departments, diploma programme in geodesy, BS & BS-MS in Statistics and Data Science, e-Masters degrees, Technopark@IITK, and upcoming School of Medical Research and Technology.

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