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India turns to WMG to source next generation of high-tech and space scientists

WMG at the University of Warwick is fast becoming key to India’s hopes to expand both its high-tech manufacturing capability and recruiting bright young engineers to its space programme.

On Sunday 21 October former President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam (President of India until July 2007), arrives in the UK and he has made a particular point of making a visit to WMG the very first thing on his itinerary.

As a scientist he led the project that created India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected India’s Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980. Since then he has been India’s foremost advocate of the need for India to further develop its space capabilities.

Speaking just last week (5 October) to the Space Community Forum in India he said: "India is working on both single and two-stage to orbit RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicle) with the goal of reducing the cost of access to Space by one or two orders of magnitude. Scientific breakthrough, for example, in air breathing propulsion systems may lead to a revolution in Space Transportation. Space communities of the world have a huge stake in such breakthrough research in advanced inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration.

"All of you are part of the incredible space revolution that we have witnessed in the last 50 years. What we need today is a step function as a global space initiative to implement a World Space Vision and missions for an enhanced quality of life for a peaceful and safe world. I can assure you that India will be a partner in this effort.

"For a prosperous and developed India, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders from our educational institutions."

At The University of Warwick on Sunday he will address an invited audience of researchers and students at WMG to encourage Indian students to consider a career in space science and to encourage more research to help progress India’s space programme.

WMG is an ideal forum to make such a speech as just last week the Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industry to develop a programme of training and internship programmes for a vast range of Indian companies to help them solve what has become known as the talent crunch in India.

Warwick’s engineering department also now famously boasts Arvind Aradhya – an 18-year-old from Bangalore - who won a four-year scholarship to study at Warwick from the Indian reality TV show Scholar Hunt. On winning the Warwick scholarship Arvind said: "I would like to pursue my desire to be an astronaut and go wherever that leads me, no boundaries." So Dr Kalam will already find one convert to his vision when he visits the University on Sunday.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Director of WMG, said: "India has a lot of fertile minds, staggering growth and the world respects the country. While India has a huge amount of talent, the country is lacking in technical education which is where China has an upper hand. This is what is ailing India’s higher education system and needs correction."

Photo Opportunity: There will be an opportunity to photograph Dr Kalam at 1pm on Sunday 21 October at the IMC building on the University of Warwick’s main campus.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick,
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708
Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam