India's space agency will step up investment in projects with societal applications to account for 20 per cent of its budget as it looks to contribute its expertise to interlink rivers and expand the network for telemedicine, tele-education and village resource centres.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the budget for societal projects is expected to go up by five per cent from the current 15 per cent in the 11th Plan (2007-12).
Outlining ISRO's plans for the next five years, Nair said India would go in for radar imaging satellites, microwave sensors and high-power pointed beams for computer connectivity.
"(In the 11th Plan) we want to be more or less totally self-reliant in all (space) technologies. We will invest in new technologies required for high-power satellites, operatinalisation of GSLV-MkIII and take new initiatives in recoverable and reusable launch systems," he told the agency.
"We have made a comprehensive package. It's in line with our next 10-year profile. This I hope the government will be able to clear."
ISRO's outlay for the 9th Plan was Rs 6,900 crore and for the 10th Plan, Rs 15,000 crore.
Nair said ISRO will do more in the fields of telemedicine, tele-education and expanding village resource centres as well as contributing to some national schemes like interlinking of rivers and new infrastructure development such as reclamation of waste land.
"We will give more thrust to such projects," he said.