Meghalaya is ready to host the precursor meeting of the G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting (SELM). Addressing a pre-event press conference for the upcoming G20 meet, Principal Secretary, Home Department, Govt of Meghalaya Dr Shakil P Ahmed informed that besides the technical event, the host State will hold exhibits to showcase India’s space activities as well as Meghalaya’s rich cultural heritage.
The inaugural programme will be held on April 17th at Hotel Courtyard by Marriott, Shillong. “Apart from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), there will be exhibits by the startups of the space economy sector. We would also showcase our cultural heritage and events,” said Dr. Shakil adding that hosting the delegates will help showcase and benchmark Meghalaya as a prime destination for tourism, investment and development. Around 28 startups in the space economy sector will participate in the precursor event, he said.
The event is a continuation of earlier events held in the G20 summits by Saudi Arab, Italy and Indonesia in the past to collaborate in the space sector. “In a sector like the space economy, you need alliances because it is a technology which is naïve and is at a different level,” he said while briefing the media.
Director, ISRO Dr Sudheer Kumar highlighted the focus of the event, which is to showcase all the capabilities of ISRO and the Department of Space and informed that the event will be a collaboration in future science missions.
“Northeast States play a very important role for us. Because of the hilly areas, the potential is more. In harsh conditions, the space application is the best. The Northeast Space Application Centre is doing great. We want to showcase that these areas have huge potential for the space industries to come and invest. Our next event will be held in Bengaluru on 6th and 7th July. This is a precursor to that main event,” said the ISRO Director citing that space technology serves best to predict weather conditions with high probability.
Dr Joram Beda, Commissioner & Secretary, Dept of Planning, Govt of Meghalaya briefed the Press about the Technical Sessions that are being planned during the event.
The inaugural function on April 17th will have Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Union Minister of State (Finance) Pankaj Chaudhury, Union Minister of State (Ind. Charge) Science &Tech Dr Jitendra Singh, Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, Secretary, Department of Space (DOS) Somanath S, Chairman IN-SPACe Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka.