PM Narendra Modi launches South Asia satellite

Story By: Rajesh Sharma
Saturday, May, 06 2017 - 13:26

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched South Asia satellite, calling it a symbol of South Asian co-operation for its economic progress.

 "This launch tells us that even the sky is not the limit when it comes to regional cooperation," Modi said in his address to six Saarc leaders.

Modi said that this project will help to achieve effective communication, better governance, better banking services and better education in remote areas.

The Rs 450 crore satellite (Gsat-9) will link all Saarc countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka , except Pakistan.

to the media, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria blamed India for excluding Pakistan from the project and said, “During the 18th SAARC Summit, India offered to ‘gift’ a satellite to SAARC member states, to be named as the so-called ‘SAARC Satellite’. Subsequently, however, India made it clear that it would build, launch and operate the satellite solely,” Zakaria said.

“However, as India was not willing to develop the project on a collaborative basis, it was not possible for Pakistan to support it as a regional project under the umbrella of SAARC. The Satellite was then renamed as ‘South Asia Satellite’ as the project was taken out of the SAARC ambit,” he added.

The 2,230 kg satellite, with a mission life of over 12 years, will provide communications and disaster support among other services to India and its neighbours.

The Indian project project will be of great benefit to Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, which do not have space programmes of their own and are particularly susceptible to climate-related disasters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a commitment to launch the satellite, during 2014 SAARC summit in Kathmandu, Nepal.


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