New Delhi: ISRO added yet another feather in its cap on Friday, when Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), carrying the GSAT-9, or South Asia Satellite, took off at 4.57 p.m. from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. PM Narendra Modi has been quite exicted about the project. In 2014, PM had tasked the ISRO to develop a satellite for use by the Saarc countries.
What India, South Asia gain from GSAT-9
1. GSAT-9 data will be shared with Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
2. Data was also offered to Pakistan, which refused.
3. India is working with Afghanistan but the has still not worked out
4. At least one transponder of this satellite will be given to member countries. This will help them connect with each other.
5. It will help India gain a footprint that extends all over South Asia.
6. It is first such move from any country in this region.
7. Member nations expect a Rs 10,000 crore ($1.5 billion) benefit from the satellite's 12-year lifespan.
8. Each nation will develop its own ground infrastructure. India ready to help.
9. The satellite will enable secure hot lines among nations for emergencies like earthquakes, cyclones, floods, tsunamis.
10. It may help in providing critical communication links in times of disasters.
11. It helps India to counter China's growing influence on its neighbours.