Proposing satellite diplomacy with a view to playing a key role in the development of the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked Indian space agency ISRO to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a 'gift' to the neighbours.
"Today I ask you, the space community, to take up the challenge of developing a SAARC satellite that we can dedicate to our neighbourhood as a gift from India," he said in his address after witnessing the successful launch of five foreign satellites from Sriharikota (AP) on board ISRO's PSLV C-23 rocket.
He asked the scientists to work on a satellite that would provide full range of applications and services to all of India's neighbours.
"Such a satellite will be helpful in SAARC nations' fight against poverty and illiteracy, the challenge to progress in scientific field, and will open up avenues to provide opportunities to the youth of SAARC countries," he said from ISRO's Mission Control Room.
The 'dream' for such a satellite will be useful for the development of all SAARC nations with India playing a key role in that, Modi reasoned in a speech laced with anecdotes and delivered in a mix of English and Hindi.