India Launches World's First Education Satellite

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<b>India Launches World's First Education Satellite</b><br /><br />LINK<br /><br />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).<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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. <br /><br />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.<br /><br /><br />Virtual classrooms <br /><br /><br />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.<br /><br />“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."<br /><br />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 re
 
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