Why we shouldn’t address NAVIC as ‘our own GPS’.

Oh, did I just ask to not address NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) as our own GPS (Global Positioning System). Have I lost my mind to go against the trend media has created? Am I actually serious about it? Well, let’s see why I am making such a preposterous appeal.

I have realised while talking to a lot of people on social media that they think GPS is a technology per say in generic terms which is completely incorrect. And the headlines all over media are reflecting as such. So first let’s talk about different satellite based navigation systems.

What is GPS:

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a global satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment. GPS is operated and maintained by the U.S. Air Force (Source: HERE). It is currently the world’s most utilized satellite navigation system.

About GNSS:

The generic name of what we assume to be GPS is GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). Currently there are two operational GNSS:
1) Global Positioning System (GPS) is owned by the United States.
2) GLONASS is owned by Russia.

The third GNSS- GALILEO of European Union isn’t completely operational yet, 12 of 30 satellites in orbit.

The forth BeiDou (Chinese Navigation system) is a limited test system, its full-scale global navigation system or GNSS also known as COMPASS or BeiDou-2 is currently under construction, it has about 20 satellites in orbit at present.

About NAVIC:

NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is the operational name of India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an Indian developed Navigation Satellite System, note that it’s regional not global. It has deployed 3 satellites in GEO orbit and 4 satellites in GSO orbit although the full version comprises 9 satellites including 2 on the ground as stand-by. NAVIC is developed by ISRO Deep Space Network (DSN).

The 7th satellite IRNSS-1G was successfully launched on 28 April 2016 and ever since that it’s been called as “Our own GPS”. Which isn’t a wrong statement, no I am not opposing the sentiments behind it but I am opposing the trend its setting. And technically GPS is global and NAVIC is regional so it really can’t be technically correct. Also note that I have nothing against GPS, I know we are currently using it, this whole concern is strictly about NAVIC.

IRNSS-1G (Source: HERE)

Then what’s the issue?

See, by now we have developed GPS isn’t a generic term, it’s just most popular and we human race runs after something that’s always more popular and it’s exactly what needs to be changed if we want to create our own identity in this world, if we want to stand with pride, if we want other nations to respect and recognize us then we need to be own people and not some ripped off identity of other nation and that’s what NAVIC deserve.

NAVIC was developed after so much of continuous handwork of ISRO scientists, thorough research and loads of money. It isn’t just another satellite based navigation system, it made us the fifth elite nation in this world to have our own navigation satellite system and it is a big deal. I am forever grateful to GPS for extending its services to us but we (India) developed and deployed NAVIC because many of the GPS services weren’t available to defence forces specially and we needed that thus came NAVIC.

NAVIC made us a proud nation, it showed the world the powerful force India is, it showed that we were Inventers/developers, we are and we always will be. We have some of the best brains in the world that is what NAVIC represents. It’s our pride and giving it a second hand name just dishearten me and it should dishearten you as well.

China has its own search engine Baidu and they do not call it ‘Chinese Google’. We do not call Flipkart as ‘India’s Amazon’ or Ola as ‘India’s Uber’ or every Smartphone an iPhone. Even you wouldn’t like to be called by other’s names!

What we say today, what we trend today will be remembered tomorrow and I do not want NAVIC to be known as ‘Indian GPS’.

If you agree with me then kindly share this post, raise your voice, talk about it, and aware more people about it. All I want is NAVIC to be known as NAVIC to the entire world and I need your help in doing so. Will you help me?


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