The State-owned Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), carrying the 2,230 kg satellite GSAT-9, lifted off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota at 4:57 p.m. local time (1127 GMT).
The GSAT-9 has been launched with an objective to provide different communication applications in Ku-band with coverage over South Asian countries, the ISRO said. "With this launch we have started a journey to build the most advanced frontier of our partnership", Prime Minister Modi said.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari have both congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on the successful launch of the South Asia satellite-GSAT-09.
The satellite is expected to help the countries in areas like "mapping of natural resources, tele-medicine, education, IT connectivity and people-to-people links". The intended operational life of the satellite is more than 12 years.
GSLV-F09 mission is the eleventh flight of GSLV and its fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS). I welcome all the South Asian countries who have joined us on the South Asia Satellite in this momentous endeavour.... Pakistan's claim came on a day when India successfully launched the "South Asia Satellite" to provide communications and disaster support to neighbouring countries.
Soon after taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had made a unilateral proposal of India launching the satellite whose data would be shared with the eight SAARC countries for their development.
Of course, there's a geopolitical backdrop there, too: Beijing, as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative, is seeking to boost its economic and diplomatic influence in South Asia. That isn't to say that Modi offered up the satellite out of the goodness of his own heart - he has said that India's future is in its own neighborhood. "Today I ask you, the space community, to take up the challenge of developing a SAARC satellite that we can dedicate to our neighbourhood as a gift from India", he had said while speaking at the launch of PSLV C-23 rocket.
"Today is a historic day, a day without any precedence", he said later while addressing the video conference. "I am confident that this satellite will change the face of South Asia".
In his remarks on the benefits the satellite would bring, Mr Modi said: "This is first of its kind project in South Asia".
Hailing as historic India's successful launch of the South Asia satellite, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday termed it a symbol of South Asian co-operation for its economic progress.