Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday named and dedicated 'Navic', India's equivalent of GPS to the people of the country. In successfully launching IRNSS-1G, the seventh and last satellite of the IRNSS series, India has become only the fifth country to have an indigenous designed navigation system.
Other countries that have their own navigational systems are Russia (Glonass), China (Beidou), France (Doris) and the United States (GPS). Besides providing accurate position information to users, the completely independent IRNSS platform is expected to meet the country's strategic needs.
Launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in Sriharikota, about 80 km from Chennai, the PSLV-C33 rocket bearing the IRNSS-1G satellite took off at 12.50 pm. In what can be described as a textbook launch, the satellite was placed into the targeted Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The launch was marked by clear skies, much to the delight of gazing scientists and media personnel.
Addressing the nation after the launch, Modi said NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) will make the country 'self- reliant', thereby ensuring that it does not rely on foreign support platforms. Describing the navigation system as 'a proud example of Make in India, Made in India and Made for India', the prime minister said it will benefit the 125 crore Indians, especially the fishermen and sailors.
Besides helping India, the PM stated NAVIC could benefit the entire SAARC region, or the South Asian countries. He appreciated and lauded the scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for their 'gift' to the nation. ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, who was present with other scientists at the mission control centre, expressed his happiness over the successful launch.
IRNSS, or Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System, comprises seven satellites, which together will offer real-time positioning services across the country and a region extending to 1500 km beyond. ISRO launched the first navigation satellite, IRNSS-1A in July 2013. While Standard Positioning System (SPS) will be provided to all the users, restricted service (RS), an encrypted service, would be provided to only authorised users.