Published On: Fri, May 5th, 2017

ISRO to launch India’s gift to SAARC nations GSAT-9 satellite today

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The South Asian satellite , GSAT-9, which PM Narendra Modi called India’s ‘gift’ to its South Asian neighbours, is all set to be launched on Isro’s GSLV-F09 rocket today.

India on Friday will launch the South Asia Satellite, built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), that will at once boost its “neighbourhood first policy” as well as help it carve a unique place for itself in space diplomacy by becoming the rare example of a country to “gift” a satellite to its neighbours.

India’s GSAT-9, the South Asia Communication Satellite that will boost connectivity among nations in the region, will be launched at 4.57pm on Friday, PTI reported.

According to external affairs ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay, the launch of the Rs450 crore satellite from Sriharikota, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, is a dimension of the “sabka saath, sabka vikaas” (collective effort, inclusive growth) concept espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In attendance to see the lift-off would be the ambassadors of Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh, while other countries could be represented by other diplomats.

Who will benifit from GSAT-9

The South Asia Satellite is a geosynchronous communications and meteorology satellite developed by Isro for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) region made up of eight countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

What will be the benfits of GSAT-9

The benefits of the satellite will be in the areas of mapping of natural resources, tele-medicine, education, IT connectivity and people-to-people links. According to news reports, the satellite will provide a significant capability to each of the participating countries in terms of DTH (direct-to-home), besides linking among the countries for disaster information transfer. Each South Asian country will get access to one transponder through which they could beam their own programming and there could be common “South Asian programming” as well, news reports said. But each country will have to develop its own ground infrastructure, though India is willing to extend assistance and know-how.

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