All eyes will be on ‘South Asia Satellite‘ on May 5 which is ready to launch from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It is a Rs 450 crore project and the Satellite cost Rs 235 crore. The launch is set for 4.57pm. It was announced by Mr. Modi during the 2014 SAARC summit in Nepal and all SAARC countries have since joined it except Pakistan. In his radio address Man Ki Baat, Narendra Modi said, “Natural resources mapping, tele-medicine, the field of education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people to people contact — this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region. It is an important step by India to enhance co-operation with the entire South Asia… it is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia.”
India has an active space programme dating back to 1965, and in 1975, became the first South Asian nation to launch a satellite. Furthermore, India is the only nation in South Asia to have successfully launched and operate satellites in space while other South Asian nations have struggled and lacked in such progress.