India Committed to Peaceful Use of Outer Space

Non-Aligned Movement recognizes the inalienable, sovereign rights of all States in the exploration and use of outer space for exclusively peaceful purposes. NAM has urged all Member States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. The Movement has called for the promotion and strengthening of international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

India has time and again reiterated its commitment to the peaceful use of outer space. During the 13th Meeting at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held on 23rd October 2018, India said that the country’s space programme has focused primarily on the application of space technology for development needs, more than space exploration. The country’s space programme continued to integrate advances in space technology and applications into national development goals, going on to underline the crucial role of space data and technology in improving the efficiency of development programmes.

India has also collaborated with international partners in undertaking space programmes such as satellite launches and has also been helping neighbouring countries with a range of surveying efforts, including for horticultural crop inventory, forest mapping, drought monitoring and urban sprawl. India’s space programme have remained focused on peaceful uses of outer space. India has also entered into cooperation with a number of countries for exploration and uses of outer space. A few such examples are mentioned below:

In March 2018, India and France signed a Joint Vision for Space Cooperation. Under the terms of this Joint Vision for Space Cooperation, both sides will cooperate in remote sensing of earth using satellite, including joint development of advanced instruments and joint missions to study weather and climate, sharing of data including direct reception from each other’s Earth observation missions meant for Meteorology, Oceanography, Resource inventory and Cartography and sharing of expertise in data analysis including algorithm development and modeling to derive useful information for the benefit of humanity. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the French National Space Agency (CNES) will work together in areas such as sharing expertise on satellite navigation. Under the Joint Vision, France and India would cooperate regularly on international issues of common importance including space security, safety and sustainability.

In June 2018, the Indian Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman regarding the peaceful use of outer space. Under the MoU, ISRO and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Oman will cooperate in areas such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite-based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology. The MoU also calls for the establishment of a Joint Working Group to finalise the modalities of cooperation. Such cooperation between India and Oman will give impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

On 26th July 2018, India signed a f the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The areas of cooperation under this MoU are remote sensing of the earth; Satellite communication and satellite-based navigation, space science and planetary exploration, use of spacecraft, launch vehicles, space systems and ground systems and practical applications of space technology including geospatial tools and techniques. The MoU shall be carried out through sharing of satellite data, results of experiments, and scientific and technological information; joint research and developmental activities, exchange of technical and scientific personnel designated to participate in the cooperative programmes and capacity building in space science and technology, and space application programmes for societal purposes.

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