SRIHARIKOTA: After witnessing the successful launch of PSLV-C23 here on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech that was not just a solid endorsement for the Indian Space Research Organisation, but also an indirect mission statement. Extolling ISRO’s success in indigenously developing its space technology despite international obstacles, Modi urged it not just to expand but also to contribute to foreign policy objectives.
Modi extended the neighbourhood diplomacy that characterised his swearing-in ceremony, by appealing to India’s space community to develop a satellite that could provide the benefits of the country’s technological advancements to its neighbours. “India’s space programme is... driven by a vision of service to humanity. Not by a desire of power. For us, it is an important instrument of our human progress. We must therefore, share the fruits of our technological advancement with those who do not enjoy the same. The developing world, and our neighbours in particular,” Modi told the ISRO brass at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. “Today, I ask our space community to take up the challenge of developing a SAARC Satellite — that we can dedicate to our neighbourhood.”