The Union cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bhutan on peaceful uses of outer space.

The MoU, which was signed on November 19, shall enable India and Bhutan to pursue cooperation in 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.

“A joint working group would be set up, drawing members from the department of space and Indian Space Research Organization and the  Bhutan ministry of information and communications, which will work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementation,” the department of space said in a statement.

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Cooperation with Bhutan would lead to developing a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity, thus benefitting all sections and regions of the country, it added.

India and Bhutan have been discussing on establishing formal space cooperation.

The Union cabinet has shared a template for inter-governmental MoU for space cooperation with the ministry of external affairs in November 2017 for discussion with Bhutan.

The two countries also discussed the draf along with other cooperative proposals during the bilateral meeting in February this year.

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 two countries signed the MoU on November 19.

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