The launch of 20 satellites on a single rocket is another reminder of India’s ability to develop technology at low prices. It is useful to note that some of the satellites launched were from developed countries.
There are often heated debates about whether a country like India can afford a space programme. The answer is an unequivocal yes. India is no longer a poor country. It has the financial resources to fund its own research. And the benefits of such initiatives also eventually accrue to the poor. Think of the Green Revolution or the manufacture of cheap medicines.
Technological prowess also helps secure strategic autonomy. Traditional knowledge may be useful in its own limited way, but modern technology is an absolute essential if India is to progress. However, India needs to fix its science ecosystem—from schools and specialist universities to funding for original research and participation in international projects.