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The Indian space programme received its biggest impetus under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, a firm believer in self-reliance, who supported Indian scientists and technologists as they created the Indian Space Research Organisation and its network of institutions. Her emphasis was on the peaceful use of space technology for communications, weather forecasting, remote sensing and education. Concerned with the security situation in our neighbourhood she gave full political support to the missile development programme in the early eighties. Her leadership of this programme paved the way for India to emerge as one of the world’s leading space powers.