ISRO, the artillery of building India’s own domestic GPS system – NavIC, has now joined hands with CSIR National Physical Laboratory (NPL) today to make it independent from the US clock system.

We are all set to get our very own GPS system, I mean it is not new news but the update is that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The MOU was signed by ISRO and CSIR-NPL today to get a step closer to the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC). Here’s the interesting bit – Delhi based NPL is the timekeeper of Indian Standard Time (IST)!

Didn’t get what is so amazing about that, did ya? Well this will mean that the Indian desi GPS will now be synchronised with Indian time and it will be independent of American time clock. And time synchronisation is key for a variety of purposes such as financial transactions, stock handling, digital archiving, time stamping, national security and prevention of cybercrimes. Not just that, this move will help in making the indigenous system operational in the market for commercial purposes. So that is how NavIC becomes independent from the US-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and will now be synchronised to that of the Primary National Atomic Clocks at National Physical Laboratory.

NavIC’s is formally known as Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) and if it becomes successful, then the domestic GPS will be introduced in two modes – civil and military mode. Although achieving the Nano-second accuracy for day to day activities is very tough, the ISRO needs accuracy up to nanoseconds level for navigation, surveillance and other national missions. The development of IRNSS has already started and it will take a year to complete, but I think it is worth it.

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