Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Gaganyaan mission will be a historic achievement in the field of science and technology for India in the 21st century and a milestone for New India.
"On the solemn occasion of Republic Day, it gives me great joy to tell you about 'Gaganyaan'. The country has taken another step towards this goal. In 2022, we will be celebrating 75 years of Independence. And on that occasion, we have to fulfil the pledge to take an Indian into space through the Gaganyaan mission," Modi said in his first 'Mann Ki Baat' address of the year.
"Gaganyaan mission will be a historic achievement in the field of science and technology for India in the 21st century. It will prove to be a milestone for New India," he added.
The Prime Minister further said four pilots of the Indian Air Force have been shortlisted for the mission and they will be going to Russia for training for the mission.
Modi said these talented youth were symbols of India's skills, talent, ability, courage and dreams.
"Four candidates have been chosen for the mission as astronauts, all four are pilots of the Indian Air Force. These talented youth are symbols of India's skills, talent, ability, courage and dreams. They will soon be going to Russia for training in the next few days," Modi said.
He expressed hope that the mission will lead to a closer and deeper relationship with Russia and extended his greetings to all persons associated with the project.
"I am confident this will be another golden chapter of friendship and cooperation between India and Russia. They will be trained for over a year. After that, the responsibility of carrying the hopes and aspirations of the nation and soaring into space will rest on the shoulders of one of them. On the auspicious occasion of Republic Day, I congratulate these four youngsters and the Indian and Russian scientists and engineers associated with this mission," he said.
The Narendra Modi government has sanctioned Rs. 10,000 crores for the Gaganyaan project. The launch will coincide with the 75th year of India's independence in 2022.