Cabinet approves India-Bhutan MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space

New Delhi, December 31, 2020

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Governments of India and Bhutan on cooperation in the peaceful users of outer space signed on November 19, 2020, by both sides at Bangalore/Thimpu and exchanged.

The MoU will 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, an official press release said.

The MoU would lead to the setting-up of a Joint Working Group, drawing members from Department of Space (DOS)/ Indian Space Research Organisation (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 timeframe and the means of implementing the agreement. It will provide an 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.

Cooperation with Bhutan through this MoU would lead to developing 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 establishing formal space cooperation. A template for Inter-Governmental MoU for Space cooperation was shared with the Ministry of External Affairs (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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