India set to launch satellite for border security

India is all set to use space technology by launching a satellite to tone up border security and management. Representational photo of an Indian satellite launch taken from Wikipedia

India is all set to use space technology in a big way, including by launching a satellite for exclusive use of the Home Ministry, to tone up border security and management.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a report of the task force set up by his ministry to identify the areas for use of space technology in toning up border management, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

India shares land borders with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan.

Under the five-year project to use space technology for improving border management, the Indian Space Research Organization is going to launch a satellite for exclusive use by the Home Ministry, an official statement said on Thursday night. It did not, however, mention when the satellite will be put into orbit.    

The launch of the satellite is envisaged as a mid-term measure to implement the project over the next five years, according to the statement. 

Satellite communications will guide deployment of federal paramilitary forces in remote areas where access is difficult. Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)-based GPS will provide navigation facilities for security forces carrying out operations in high altitude, remote and difficult borders and Maoist areas, said the statement.

In the short term, immediate needs of the Border Guarding Forces (BGFs) will be met by procurement of high-resolution imagery and hiring of bandwidth for communications.

Over the long term, the Home Ministry will develop ground segment and network infrastructure to share satellite resources by user agencies, develop a Central Archival Facility for storing various imagery resources and dissemination of the same to user agencies, according to the statement.

The task force, headed by Joint Secretary (Border Management) in the Home Ministry and having members from BSF and the Department of Space, consulted all stakeholders including Border Guarding Forces (BGFs), Indian Space Research Organization, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and the Defence Ministry to finalise the report.

The report has identified five important areas for use of space technology -- island development, border security, communication and navigation, GIS and Operations Planning System, and border Infrastructure development -- the Home Ministry statement said.

Among the major recommendations of the report are to build capacity in BGFs to use space resources for security, operational planning and border infrastructure development.

BSF has been designated as lead agency for implementation of ground segment and network infrastructure including establishment of Archival Facility.

"This project will strengthen island and border security and facilitate development of infrastructure in border and island areas," the Home Ministry said.