India, Bhutan ink framework for peaceful use of space

India, Bhutan ink framework for peaceful use of space

The agreement was inked on Thursday. Credit: iStock.

A year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a “ground earth station” of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Thimphu, India and Bhutan inked a framework agreement for cooperation for peaceful use of space.

The agreement was inked on Thursday, and Modi announced signing of the agreement during the launch of the second phase of the RuPay card of India in Bhutan on Friday.

“I am especially happy that work is progressing fast for the ISRO to send a satellite of Bhutan into space next year. For this, four young space engineers from Bhutan will come to the ISRO in December for training,” the Prime Minister said, adding that New Delhi would support implementation of the vision of Bhutanese King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, to use the space technology for the development of his country.

Modi and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering had in August 2019 jointly inaugurated the “ground earth station”, which the ISRO built in Thimphu at the cost of Rs 7 crore to help Bhutan take advantage of the South Asia Satellite launched by India in 2017. The two Prime Ministers had witnessed signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ISRO and Department of Information Technology and Telecom of the Bhutanese Government on establishment of SATCOM network for utilisation of the South Asia Satellite.

The two Prime Ministers had jointly launched Phase-I of the RuPay card implementation project in Bhutan in August 2019. The implementation of Phase-I of RuPay cards in Bhutan enabled visitors from India to access ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals across Bhutan. The Phase-II, launched by Modi and Tshering on Friday, would now allow Bhutanese card holders to access RuPay network in India.