Diplomatist Special Report: West Asia - North Africa 2018 WANA 2018 - Page 51

SPECIAL REPORT The latest launch is a good demonstration of both the reliability of Indian rockets as well as an example of India’s mature satellite fabrication capacities. According to the ISRO, the Cartosat is an earth observation satellite, with a wide variety of cartographic applications including “coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) as well as Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.” What makes India’s Mars mission all the more remarkable is its low cost. With a price tag of just $70 million, it is the least expensive inter-planetary mission ever. The U.S. Maven orbiter, which arrived at Mars two days before Mangalyaan, cost NASA a whopping $671 million in comparison. Today, India is one of the few countries that enjoys a good relationship with all signifi cant stakeholders in West Asia. The days of cold war are over, and Indian has taken its relations with West Asian countries to a greater height. India's PM is welcomed in all major capitals of West Asia, North Africa & Gulf from Tehran to Riyadh, from Ramallah to Tel Aviv, from Cairo to Amman. National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) is the pioneering Egyptian institution in the fi eld of satellite remote sensing. Its fl edgeling wings are seeking development all across, understanding the need, both the countries signed MoU on Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes in 2008. Similarly, In order to achieve the objectives set out under the National Space Program, the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) has carried out bilateral and multilateral cooperation actions with space forces on the one hand and emerging countries on the other And developing countries. India is among one of the major development partners of Algeria in exploring the outer space and working together. Recently, three Algerian satellites (Alsat-1B, Alsat-2B and Alsat-1N) have successfully been launched by Indian launcher PSLV C35 from Sriharikota site (Satish Dhawan Space Center). Launcher PSLV C-35 put into orbit 8 satellites including three Algerian ones. India has become a signifi cant power in Space technology, and ready to become a companion of many West Asian & North African nations who have started their space programs, or countries like Libya who are planning to develop their own space program by 2020. Both geographies have great scope of cooperation in Space Technology. Asian countries have had space technology for decades, but now they have started to compete in space market with Western space programs. Till date, India has launched more than 209 satellites of 28 countries (including Israel & UAE) with the help of its workhorse rocket PSLV. PSLV rocket has a success rate of more than 90%. It is said that new Asian space race has started between China, Japan & India. India has a unique cost advantage in the fi eld of space technology. India's Mars mission cost just $74 million, and the cost of 1st Indian lunar mission was $79 million (compared with Chinese 1st lunar mission cost of $187 million & the cost of 1st Japanese lunar mission was $480 million). Last year, India sent 104 satellites (including foreign satellites) at one go to space in a single launch. The global Space industry was worth 330 billion USD in 2016 and India's share is less than 1% in the industry. India may not be able to compete just on price in mature markets of West. So, India should take the lead in emerging space markets of West Asia. India would be able to offer much- advanced technology at less than half price than competitors to developing nations all across. Last year, India launched South Asian satellite at its own cost for the use of its neighbors. India can help in such joint satellite programs in West Asia also. Many small countries can't effort or don't have enough workforce to have a viable space program and India can come up and build satellites for a group of nations and give some transponders to each country. India can earn billions of dollars of foreign exchange if it becomes a string space player and now the competition has become tough with the arrival of private players. India had a trade defi cit on account of importing crude oil with most of the West Asian countries and India could space program to wipe out some portion of the trade defi cit. In turn, these countries would get a reliable partner which may not have the territorial ambition or which may not take a side in the ongoing tussle in West Asia. Western countries don't enjoy good relations with Iran but their help to Gulf countries in their space program can be seen as a provocation by Iran and vice versa (Russian helps Iran in its space technology). But Indian help to gulf state B&R6VV2&f6F'g&VFƖW"&Bf6RfW'6WfV7&VB&V7@FƖ֗FVBFVF&76R&w&WfVFVv6R6V7F2bVFFƲ&WB676R&6RFW6RF&VR6VG&W266RFvWFW"@VFW"6F2FfRFV"v6FVƗFR&w&62VrBb6VG&W2BF26VW&vp2WrW"F2&V&F6VG&W2VW6VV@&VF62vFvW7B6F2BF2&RFPFRFB&F66RFvWFW"VrFW6RF2खFb666WFRvFV6FW"FV"v76P&w&'WB6ԖF6&&F2FVFF6vPFRf6Rb76RFV6w6ࢥFRWF"2vVֶv&vvW"Bg&WVV@6G&'WF"FF&BvV'6FW2R66VǒF'2Fw0Ff&VvƖ7ffvW7B6b6vW7B6'Fg&6( "S