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.
BODY – WHY IS IT NEEDED BY INDIA?
- The satellite has strategic importance that goes a long way in aiding the paramilitary forces at the time of distress / war.
- 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.