GSAT-11–the heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation so far–will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country, thus giving a shot in the arm to various e-governance initiatives being run under the Digital India programme.
“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said.
The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health and e-governance, among others.
GSAT-11 was launched on board the launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246, which lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 02:07 am on Wednesday.
After achieving the orbit “very close to the intended one”, the satellite’s “health parameters” were found “normal”, according to ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka.
“The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band,” ISRO said.
The successful launch of GSAT-11 is part of the government’s plan for “fulfilling the dream of a fully connected and truly empowered India”.
Critical to the success of BharatNet and the Digital India programme, GSAT-11 is set to play a major role in connecting people, informing, educating, spreading awareness, creating jobs, and above all bridging the digital divide and amplifying financial inclusion in the country.