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Satellites Set to Play Good Samaritans in India

India will soon connect every nook and corner of its vast territory through satellites to provide education, health and other social services to people, especially those living in far-flung areas. //

"To achieve these objectives, the operation of EDUSAT is being expanded across the country while the development of HEALTHSAT has already been envisioned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)," said S. Krishnamurthy, director of the public relations department of ISRO.

Launched Sep 20, 2004, EDUSAT is the first Indian satellite built exclusively for serving the education sector.

Encouraged by the steady growth of its telemedicine programme, ISRO has been working to launch HEALTHSAT, a satellite for meeting the healthcare and medical education needs of the country.

"ISRO has also been a champion in demonstrating the use of space technology for societal good. It is building several socially relevant space application projects to cover more than 600,000 Indian villages where around 700 million people live," Krishnamurthy told a visiting team of mediapersons here.

EDUSAT services commenced in March 2005 with the launching of a primary education project in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. It was a joint effort of the ISRO and the Karnataka government.

"Under this project, 885 satellite-receive terminals for primary schools have been set up in predominantly tribal areas," Krishnamurthy said.

The national beam, which was set up at Ahmedabad, is to be used for the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur and Chennai, Institute of Electronics and Tele-communication Engineers (IETE), National Council for Science Museums (NCSM) and Centre for Environment Education (CEE).

Krishnamurthy said, "Besides the national beam, five regional beams of EDUSAT are b
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