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Govt to spend Rs 235 crore on launching satellite for SAARC nations

MUMBAI: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to build a satellite for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region with 12 Ku-band transponders and launch it using Indian Geostationary Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-II.

The total cost of launching the satellite is estimated to be about Rs 235 crore (Rs 2.35 billion), which will be met by Government of India. This information was given by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in reply to unstarred question in Rajya Sabha today.

A one-day conference on “Satellite for SAARC Region and Space Technology Applications” was organised by India in New Delhi on 22 June to appraise and discuss the proposal. Delegations from all the SAARC member nations participated in the conference.

The response of all the SAARC nations to the proposal has been encouraging. While welcoming the initiative, Pakistan raised some queries on technical and operational aspects, and desired further discussions before giving its consent.

The proposed satellite enables full range of applications and services to our neighbours in the areas of telecommunication and broadcasting applications viz. TV, direct-to-home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), tele-education, tele-medicine and disaster management support.