"I think if somebody said that we can race with China and catch up with them. However, at the moment, we have lost the game very badly," he said. (Agencies)
According to him, India and China were ‘almost equal’ five years ago except in the area of manned mission. "In fact, in some of the technologies we were ahead of China, especially in space communications and remote sensing," he said.
"In the last five years, while India was sleeping, the Chinese steadily surged forward. They have 10 astronauts who had gone to space and come back. They even have a space station, half the job is over and I think in 2015, it will be operational," noted Nair, who had accomplished 25 successful missions during his six years tenure as ISRO Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space.
"And they (China) are making a heavy-lift launcher which can take about 25 tons into lower orbit. With this they are going to have an upper hand in space not only in Asia Pacific region but globally as well," he said.
India is currently implementing programmes approved in 2007 and 2008 and they are progressing at ‘snail's pace’, Nair, who was recently re-elected President of International Academy of Astronautics, said.
"We don't have a clear vision for the next ten years; what we should be doing in this area. Even in precious areas like tele-medicine, tele-education and village resource centers, where we had made an impact, they all have been wound up," he said.
"I think if somebody said that we can race with China and catch up with them. However, at the moment, we have lost the game very badly," he said.