India pledged its participation in the EU's Galileo satellite navigation system at the recently held EU-India summit at New Delhi. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reasoned that India had agreed to participate recognising the vital importance of satellite navigation and positioning of Indian and EU economies.
It is being thought that Galileo eventually would lead to the setting up of a multi-polar world and India's and China's participation in the project has given this thought a seal of approval. Both the countries seem to have woken up to the emerging global market of global positioning services. India has already become the number one market for mobile telephony in the world with as many as 13 lakh cellular additions every month.
India has always given attention to the use of space technology for peaceful purposes and the Galileo venture is just in line with this policy as it has been specifically made for commercial purpose and for civilian use.
Everything seems to be going good, but some of the recent news of differences between the EU and US is disturbing. US has termed Galileo as a 'threat to US national security'. The US is worried, as the EU intends not only to duplicate GPS coverage, but also to surpass its functionality.
India and China understand the importance of Galileo for their individual economies, but they should take steps to ensure that Galileo becomes a reality very soon. Investment in the project should be guided with the aim of getting maximum returns.
The world really needs some lessons in co-existence! Isn't it?