Daily Mains Answer Writing - PrayaasPrayaas – January 2019Prayaas – January 2019 – Week 4

Daily Answer Writing for IAS Mains Examination – PRAYAAS Series – Day 49

Q. Why is Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation. [Answer in 150 Words]



Brief Description of IRNSS

  • The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent satellite based regional navigation system developed indigenously by India.
  • It is built on lines similar to those of US’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and Europe’s Galileo.


  • The satellite has strategic importance that goes a long way in aiding the paramilitary forces at the time of distress / war.
  1. Hostile Neighborhood
  • The hostile neighborhood of India makes it important for our country to be self reliant in terms of navigation during an emergency situation.
  • Dependence on a foreign country for strategic needs like navigation during war / natural calamity is not desirable.
  • An indigenous satellite-based navigation system under one’s control and command is considered a deep strategic asset. This becomes especially important in the light of hostile neighborhood of India.

2. Depiction of Technological Know-how

  • With the development of IRNSS, India has entered into the league of nations who have developed their own navigation system.
  • Such a development depicts and establishes the technological credentials of India at the global stage.
  • This could attract investments or agreements with other countries who can outsource their technical work in this field to India.

3. Needed for Soft Power

  • India needs to sustain its status of a soft power which is important for maintaining strategic ties with its neighboring countries.
  • Development of IRNSS and using it for strategic purposes can augment this.
  • For example, aiding Nepal/Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in navigational services at a time of distress such as a disaster can add to India’s soft power.

BODY – How does it help in navigation?

  • The IRNSS is well laid with the state of the art technology that adds to make it useful in navigation.
  • Equipped with extremely accurate rubidium atomic clocks, star sensors etc. allows the system of seven satellites to provide location tracking with an accuracy of 20 metres.


  • Dependence on the navigation system of a foreign power is unreliable (ex: USA denied its services during Kargil War) and in this context the indigenous development of IRNSS was much needed by India.
  • It is hoped that with time, the range and accuracy of the IRNSS will be further improved for better utilization and benefits of its people.

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