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[LISTEN] From India to NASA, Scientist Swati Mohan Breaking Barriers in Space Exploration

Mar 01, 2021

Faizel Patel – 01/03/2021

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143

Tech policy and media professional Prasanto K Roy says the NASA Mars Rover Perseverance which landed on the red planet on 19 February has created a lot of excitement in India.

Roy was speaking to Radio Islam on Monday about the Mars mission including the Indian government’s decision to tighten the regulatory grip on social media platforms.

Thirty-eight year-old Nasa scientist Swati Mohan an alumnus of Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology who migrated to the US with her parents from southern Karnataka when she was just a year old confirmed the touchdown of the Perseverance rover on Mars.

Roy says the Mars mission has received an overwhelming response in India.

“There’s a lot of excitement about what was achieved. Part of the reason for the excitement was also the mission lead the voice-overs was the prominent Swati Mohan. So, all of this combined. India has had a very active interest in space. We’ve been actively launching satellites via national space organisation ISRO.”

Speaking about tightening the leash on big tech, Roy says India has a history of regulating content on social media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government has decided to tighten the regulatory grip on Facebook, WhatsApp with new rules.

Twitter recently ignored government orders to drop content related to farmers’ protests.

Roy says while there has been ‘safe harbour protection given to intermediaries’ previously, this has now changed.

“This has been in the works for a long time. The trigger was really the fake news and the lynching’s based on forwards which have caused multiple incidents over the course of the last two or three years. But it is possibly aggravated by the rising activism and in recent times where activists have pitched in to support the farmers.”

India is the largest market by users for both Facebook and its messenger service WhatsApp.


Listen to the interview with Prasanto K Roy









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