Skip to main content

Space for all: South Asia satellite launch a positive signal to the neighbourhood (.hindu )

India’s launch of the ‘South Asia satellite’ sends a positive signal to the neighbourhood

By launching the GSAT-9 ‘South Asia satellite’, India has reaffirmed the Indian Space Research Organisation’s scientific prowess, but the messaging is perhaps more geopolitical than geospatial. To begin with, the Centre has kept its promise of considering India’s “neighbourhood first”. Within a month of taking over as Prime Minister in 2014, Narendra Modi went to Sriharikota for the launch of PSLV C-23 and “challenged” ISRO scientists to build this satellite for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The decision was then announced at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu, and the government has kept its commitment of gifting its neighbours at least one transponder each on the GSAT-9, a project that cost about ₹450 crore. India has no doubt gained goodwill across the subcontinent through the gesture, and the moment was neatly captured by the videoconference that followed the launch, showing all SAARC leaders (with the exception of Pakistan’s) together on one screen as they spoke of the benefits they would receive in communication, telemedicine, meteorological forecasting and broadcasting. The message is equally strong to South Asia’s other benefactor, China, at a time when it is preparing to demonstrate its global clout at the Belt and Road Forum on May 14-15. The Belt and Road Initiative is an infrastructure network that every SAARC nation other than India has signed on to. China has pledged billions of dollars in projects to each of the countries in the region; that, India is obviously not in a position to match.

Where India does excel is in its space programme, as it is the only country in South Asia that has independently launched satellites on indigenously developed launch vehicles. However, in recent years Pakistan and Sri Lanka have launched satellites with assistance from China, while Afghanistan, the Maldives and Nepal are also understood to have discussed satellite projects with China. Bangladesh, which will launch its first satellite Bangabandhu-1 this year, is working with a European agency. With the GSLV launch India is showing that where it is capable its commitment to the development of its neighbours is strong. Finally, by going ahead with the project despite Pakistan’s decision to pull out, the Modi government is signalling that it will continue with its plans for the neighbourhood — ‘SAARC minus one’ — if necessary. This vision was dealt a minor blow recently when Bhutan pulled out of the ‘mini-SAARC’ alternative plan of a motor vehicles agreement for BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India Nepal), but the government’s persistence indicates it will not be deterred by the obvious domestic constraints of the SAARC grouping. As Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, particularly aggrieved by Pakistan’s refusal to grant transit rights for India-Afghanistan trade, said at the launch of the GSLV-F09: “If cooperation through land is not possible, we can be connected through space.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Indian Polity Elections (MCQ )

1. Who of the following has the responsibility of the registration of voters
a) Individual voters
b) Government
c) Election commission
d) Corporations


2. Democracy exists in India, without peoples participation and co operation democracy will fail. This implies that
a) Government should compel people to participate and cooperate with it
b) People from the government
c) People should participate and cooperate with the government
d) India should opt for the presidential system


3. Which of the following are not the functions of the election commission
1) Conduct of election for the post of the speaker and the deputy speaker, Lok sabha and the deputy chairman, Rajya sabha
2) Conduct of elections to the state legislative assemblies
3) Deciding on all doubts and disputes arising out of elections

a) 1 and 2
b) 1 and 3
c) 2 and 3
d) 2

4. Which of the following electoral systems have not been adopted for various elections in India
1) System of direct elections on the basis of adult suffrage
2…