According to PTI news agency, the announcement has sparked another round of tabloid-driven controversy over the wisdom of sending 280 million pounds of British aid to India every year when the country can afford such costly space programmes.
Prime Minister Manmohan had announced the mission on during the Independence Day speech in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Sending British aid overseas has become a sensitive issue in the context of recession, deep funding cuts and major job losses as the David Cameron government deals with a large budget deficit.
However, the budget for British aid overseas has not been reduced, prompting demands from several MPs and sections of the public to stop sending aid to increasingly prosperous countries like India.
The news agency said an example of the sensation-driven tabloid reporting is a report in today’s Daily Express, which again raised the wisdom of sending aid to India, with the headline, “We pay for India’s rocket to Mars”.
The tabloid reported that anger had “erupted” last night after India announced plans for the Mars mission, and quoted two MPs demanding immediate end to aid for India.
The Cameron government has committed itself to sending 280 million pounds every year to India until 2015.