New Delhi : Hailing as historic India’s successful launch of the South Asia satellite, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday termed it a symbol of South Asian co-operation for its economic progress.
“With this launch, we have started our journey to build the most advanced frontier of our partnership,” Modi told the heads of governments of Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka over video.
Calling the satellite a symbol of cooperation to resolve people’s problems, he said: “It shows that our collective choice for our citizens will bring us together for cooperation, not conflicts, development not destruction and prosperity not poverty.”
An Indian rocket with the over two tonne satellite or GSAT-9, intended to address the region’s “economic and developmental priorities”, blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Friday evening.
This project will help the region achieve effective communication, better governance, better banking services and better education in remote areas, Modi said.
“The satellite will provide services specific to individual countries… and also common service.”
It is also expected to help improve weather forecast, telemedicine and disaster management.
Modi congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation.
In the video conference, South Asian leaders hailed India for the launch.
Referring to South Asia’s shared priorities, he said: “And in this, you will find a strong and committed partner in India.”
The rocket will sling into orbit the 2,230 kg South Asia satellite, intended as an ‘Indian Gift’ for use by its fellow Saarc nations, minus Pakistan, which opted out stating “it has its own space programme”.
The South Asian Satellite Â Some highlights
- Space diplomacy has touched new heights with Prime Minister Narendra ModiÂs unique gift in the sky to South Asian neighbours.
- The gift of a communications satellite for use by neighbours at no cost has perhaps no precedent worldwide.
- The satellite, which weighs over 2 tonnes, has been fabricated in three years at a cost of over Rs. 230 crore.
- Its footprint that extends all over South Asia.
- The South Asia Satellite has 12 Ku band transponders which India’s neighbours can utilise to increase communications.
- Each country will get access to at least one transponder through which they could beam their own programming.
- The satellite will facilitate DTH television, VSAT links, tele-education, telemedicine and disaster management support. It will provide critical communication links in times of disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.
- Heads of Government from all the seven South Asian nations who are benefiting from the satellite, connected via video conference, in a unique celebration of the successful launch.
(With inputs from IANS and PIB)