South Asia Satellite launch will be invaluable gift to region: PM

Priya sundarajan | | Updated on: Apr 30, 2017
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Data to be shared with SAARC countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the South Asia Satellite launch planned by India on May 5 as “an invaluable gift” to its neighbours and said it is an important step to enhance co-operation with the whole of South Asia.

“Natural resources mapping, tele-medicine, education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people-to-people contact... this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region,” the Prime Minister said in the 31st edition of his monthly radio broadcast, Mann Ki Baat.

The Prime Minister said that the satellite launch is an example of the government’s maxim of “ sabka saath, sabka vikas ” and it is not limited to just the confines of India. “This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia,” he said.

Boon for region “The benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the countries participating in this project,” said Modi.

The Prime Minister, soon after taking office in 2014 had proposed that India would launch a satellite whose data would be shared with the eight SAARC countries for their development.

Seven of the eight member-countries of the South Asian block, barring Pakistan, are a part of the project.

Initially, it was to be named ‘SAARC Satellite’ but its name was changed to South Asia Satellite after Pakistan refused to join the project.

The satellite will provide communication and disaster support, and connectivity among the countries in the South Asia region.

It will provide significant capabilities to each of the participating countries in terms of DTH broadcasting, certain VSAT communication capacity and disaster information transfer.

The satellite was initially proposed to be launched in December last year but was delayed.

Thrust on BHIM Meanwhile, urging the “new generation” of youth to popularise digital payments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked them to refer people to the government’s Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app and earn money in return.

Noting that the youth is “freeing itself from the shackles of cash”, Modi said that in the summer vacation they can help others to download and use the app and in turn earn money.

The Prime Minister also spoke on the recent Cabinet decision to ban red beacons on vehicles and stressed that people must also move away from the mindset of VIP culture.

Stressing that if every person is considered important in a country of 1.25 billion people, he said India can achieve great things.

Starting Monday or May 1, the red beacon light on top of cars of dignitaries and government officials will be banned.

Published on January 15, 2018

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