Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the Indian Space Research Organisation to develop a Saarc satellite which can be dedicated as a “gift” to the neighbours. Speaking at the Sriharikota spaceport, after witnessing the PSLV C-23 launch, he said, “India’s space programme is driven by a vision of service to humanity, not by a desire of power.”
He said that the country must share the fruits of its technological advancements with those who don’t enjoy the same — the developing world and India’s neighbours in particular.
“Today, I ask our space community to take up the challenge of developing a SAARC Satellite, that we can dedicate to our neighbourhood as a gift from India. A Satellite that provides a full range of applications and services to all our neighbours,” he said.
India is already sharing disaster management data with over 30 countries and provides benefits of telemedicines to Afghanistan and African countries. “But we must do more,” said the Prime Minister.
In his around 25 minutes speech, the Prime Minister said the Community to enlarge the footprint of India’s satellite-based navigation system, to cover all of South Asia. He emphasised the role the space science and technology play in the day-to-day life of common man.
“Continued progress in space must remain a national mission. We must keep enhancing our space capabilities,” said the Prime Minister who asked the Department of Space, to pro-actively engage with all stakeholders, to maximise use of space science in Governance and Development and also work with Universities and Colleges to attract talents. He noted, he could see four generations of people working in the Isro.
Stressing the importance of space programme, he noted, space technology has also evolved into an invaluable asset in disaster management. Accurate advanced warning, and tracking of Cyclone Phailin, saved countless lives recently. Satellite communication channels, often end up being the only mode of communication.
Geographic Information Systems, technology has transformed policy planning, implementation. Space imaging enables modern management, conservation of water resources, said the Prime Minister, adding that technology has a critical role in realising the vision of a Digital India – the power of 125 crore connected Indians.
“Such technology is fundamentally connected with the common man. As a change agent, it can empower and connect, to transform his life,” said Modi, while congratulating the scientists. “This Sadhna (success) you have done in the lab has the power to change the lives of millions of people.”
Modi also said “we are proud that our programme is indigenous. Generations of scientists have worked to make India a self-reliant space power. Even today’s satellites are from developed nations. Truly, this is a global endorsement of our space capability,” said Modi.
While praising the Scientists, he said they have shown the Wworld the power of frugal engineering and imagination. “Cost of India’s mission to Mars is lower than the cost of Hollywood movie Gravity”. Modi said he is following the progress of the Mars mission keenly.
The country must develop more advanced satellites with higher computing, imaging and transmitting power. It has to expand the Satellite footprint in terms of frequency and quality and also strengthen the international partnership in all areas of space technology.
“India has the potential to be the launch service provider of the world. We must work towards that goal,” he said.
“Construct our required new launch infrastructure and extend our launching capabilities to heavier satellites. Developmemt of human resources will be critical for our future success,” he added.
He also invited the young students in the country to follow the information shared by the space agency in Bhuvan space portal, so that some of the interested students can land in the Isro campus.
He added the need for development of a state of the art interactive digital space museum, which will improve the idea of space research and remind how technology is crucial to the development of the nation.
Space technology is the domain where India got international cutting edge and the country has achieved excellent and cut beyond mediocrity.