Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan on Monday said the flight- testing of the indigenous cryogenic stage of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) D3 would be conducted in April.

The vehicle would carry GAST-4, a communication satellite, he told reporters after receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Science during the 5th convocation at the SRM University in Kattankulathur.

“Though we had several GSLV flights, we were using the Russian cryogenic stages,” he said.

As far as cryogenic engine and stages were concerned, ISRO had tested engines for 7,500 seconds.

“We have qualified the stage. The entire stage was filled and fired for its entire duration of 720 seconds at [the Liquid Propulsion Centre in] Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu and it was very successful,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said.

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Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today exhorted students to guard against social evils like gender discrimination, dowry system, domestic violence and female foeticide.

Delivering the Fifth Convocation address of SRM University at the suburban Kattankulathur near here, she said as educated youngsters, the students had a ''great obligation'' to strive for social change, be it directly or indirectly.

‘’We should be able to motivate others by inculcating in them the need to overcome centuries-old prejudices which had no relevance in today’s world’’, she said, adding, the ground reality was that there was a social chasm on the basis of caste, creed, class, gender, geography and language.

These divisive forces should be weakened through a concerted effort. ‘’We need a concerted effort to bring about a social change which can weaken these divisive forces, strengthen unity and accelerate our march for national progress, she said.

Calling for incorporating aspects of humanities into the curriculum of science specialisations, she said at present the humanities were increasingly adopting a scientif approach in their research methodologies and subject specializations.

‘’There is a need to humanise science disciplines to inculcate in the impressionable minds of students, a perspective about the individual, the society, the nation and the world. ‘’Every educated youngster should have a perspective about how our polity works and what our Constittuion seeks to achieve for the nation’’, she exhorted.

Calling for an integrated approach by combining science with humanity to understand the society, she said such an approach would help the education system to produce men and women of disciplined minds and restrained manners.

On the role of teachers, Ms Meira Kumar said teachers, apart from generating an intellectual environment, should also create among students a thirst for knowledge. ‘’They should devise ways and means of transforming our children into socially useful and productive members of the society. The learning process must be a harmonious blend of academic excellence and human development.'' In all, 4,519 students from 86 disciplines were awarded Under- Graduate, Post Graduate and Diploma certificates, including nine Doctorates at the convocation ceremony. Of them 3,172 were men and 1,347 women.

There were a total of 124 Rank holders. Mr Prashantha Battacharya of B.Tech Computer science was awarded the Corporation Bank’s gold Medal for the best outgoing student.

SRM University Chancellor T R Pachamuthu presided over the convocation, while Vice-Chancellor P Sathyanarayanan presented the annual report of the University.

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