MoU between India, Bhutan on outer space cooperation approved


New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between India and Bhutan on peaceful users of outer space  that was signed on November 19 at Bangalore/Thimpu.

The Cabinet meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. This MoU shall enable India and Bhutan to pursue cooperation in potential interest areas, such as remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.

This MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) of Bhutan, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementation.

The signed MoU would lead to concluding specific Implementing Arrangement on specific areas of cooperation and setting up of Joint Working Group, to work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.

It will provide Impetus to explore cooperation possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

Reports said cooperation with the Royal Government of Bhutan through this MoU would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity. Thus, all sections and regions of the country will get benefitted.

India and Bhutan have been discussing on establishing formal space cooperation.  A template for Inter-Governmental MoU for Space cooperation was shared with MEA in November 2017 for further taking up with Bhutan.  This draft was further discussed along with other cooperative proposals during the bilateral meeting in February 2020.

After a few iterations through diplomatic channels, both sides have arrived at a workable draft of the MoU and the same was processed for internal approvals.  After obtaining necessary approvals the MoU was signed on November 19, 2020 by both sides and exchanged.


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