[Homestead] Education, India satellite

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Tue Sep 21 12:46:28 EDT 2004

I'm all for it, but WHY did it have to be India? I doubt if Kerry would 
be much better,, but I am really TIRED of Bushbabble about U.S. 
education---should sew his damned lips together if he can't improve and 
lower the cost of education in this country. He sure as hell makes no 
effort to do so, other than clutter up the public school system and 
imposing unfunded mandates on the States.

*India launches world's first education satellite*

18:44 20 September 04
NewScientist.com news service

Millions of illiterate people in remote, rural India could soon have 
access to an education, as a satellite devoted exclusively to long 
distance learning was launched on Monday. It is the world's first 
dedicated educational satellite, according to the Indian Space Research 
Organisation (ISRO).

India launched the $20 million, 2-tonne EDUSAT from the Satish Dhawan 
Space Centre at Sriharikota, a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. The 
satellite is the heaviest ever launched by an Indian-made rocket - the 
new Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which cost $33 million.

About 35% of the country’s billion-plus population are illiterate, a 
2001 government census showed. “India will require 10,000 new schools 
each year and meeting the teaching needs on such a scale [by 
conventional methods] will be impossible,” Madhavan Nair, chairman of 
ISRO, told New Scientist.

To date, India has used both of its multi-purpose INSAT satellites to 
provide long-distance education information alongside their 
telecommunications, broadcasting and weather-forecasting functions.

*Virtual classrooms*

But EDUSAT's dedicated function will substantially improve the service 
provided. It will use the virtual classroom concept to offer education 
to children in remote villages, quality higher education to students in 
areas without access to good technical institutes, adult literacy 
programmes and training modules for teachers.

“It is a unique mission and we are happy to have achieved it,” Nair 
says. H P Dixit, vice chancellor of Indira Gandhi Open University, 
added: “It will revolutionise education in our country."

EDUSAT carries six KU-band transponders and six extended C-band 
transponders. All but one of the KU-band transponders will be dedicated 
to specific regions of India, while the rest of the transponders will 
provide blanket coverage for the country.

The satellite will utilise an antenna with a 1.2-metre reflector to 
direct the KU-band spot beams towards their intended regions. This will 
enable information to be broadcast in relevant local languages - India 
has 18 official languages and over 400 dialects. The educational 
programmes can be viewed on any television set through a simple low-cost 
receiver costing about $65, Nair says.

*Operational phases*

Once EDUSAT is commissioned in two months' time it will initially 
provide one satellite link per beam, with each link catering for up to 
200 classrooms. When fully operational, 25 to 30 satellite links will 
broadcast to about 5000 remote terminals.

Monday’s launch marks several firsts for India’s space programme, says 
Nair. EDUSAT is India’s first satellite dedicated for education. Others 
being planned include AGRISAT, to address the country’s agricultural 
needs, and HEALTHSAT, for providing telemedicine services.

It is also GSLV’s first operational flight. India will no longer depend 
on Europe's Ariane rockets to launch satellites of up to 2 tonnes, 
though it will continue to use them for heavier spacecraft.

Padma Tata, New Delhi

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