SAARC – Significance of South Asia satellite

  • ISRO’s South Asia satellite is a move towards using technology for diplomacy
  • Idea was mooted in 2014 SAARC summit
  • Pakistan opted out in 2016
  • The satellite will carry 12 ku-band transponders allotted to the participating countries. Each country can use a dedicated transponder for its own use, which would primarily be communication and disaster management support
  • Proves India’s technical expertise:
    • Along with previous missions such as Chandrayaan and the Mars Orbiter Mission, the South Asia satellite underscores the strength of Indian indigenous technological development
    • Though the satellite is not very challenging technologically, a two-year turnaround for building and deploying a satellite is impressive
  • India has begun realizing that domestic technologies have now reached a level of maturity that allows India to confidently brandish its capabilities to other countries.
  • It also serves as a marketing tool for future launches at a time when ISRO is building a strong niche for itself in the international satellite launch market
  • By “gifting” this satellite to its neighbours, India has created an open access resource that can be leveraged by the latter to address some of their critical domestic concerns.

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