india, traffic, roads
A busy road in India where autos, buses, taxis and elephants take the center-stage. [ Representational image]Reuters

Indians will no longer need to rely on foreign global positioning system (GPS) for navigation because India is on the verge of activating its own GPS called NavIC.

NavIC, an acronym for Navigation with Indian Constellation, will consist of seven satellites and its official name is Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

NavIC (meaning sailor or navigator in English) will help users determine their exact position on a map. It will also help the country to join a select club of nations who have their own GPS. Only US, Russia and the European Union have such a system. China is also working on having its own global positioning system.

The last of the seven satellites, which make up the system, is in the final stages of being launched. Once the satellite is in orbit and NavIC comes online, it will start sending precise data to the navigation system on your smartphone and in your car.

NavIC's primary users will be the armed forces, who would benefit from it in the event of war or natural disasters and wouldn't need to be dependent on Western systems, access to which can be denied anytime.

Request for Proposal has been initiated for roll out of NavIC and make it popular among end users, says IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the lead agency in the development of the system, which has great strategic value for the country and there is no plan to generate revenue from its usage, says Sawhney.