The Union government is pushing tech giants to make smartphones compatible with its home-grown navigation system within months, worrying the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple who fear elevated costs and disruptions as the move requires hardware changes.
- In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive for self-reliance, India has over the years expanded the use of its regional navigation satellite system called NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation).
- The Union government wants to reduce dependence on foreign systems, including the widely used U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), and says NavIC provides more accurate domestic navigation and that its use would benefit the economy.
- China, the European Union, Japan and Russia have their own global or regional navigation systems to rival GPS.
- Operational since 2018, NavIC’s uptake is minimal; it is mandated in public vehicle location trackers, for example.
- The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NavIC, is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.
- It covers India and a region extending 1,500 km around it, with plans for further extension.