India-Bhutan must harness space technology and its applications: Jaishankar

After the successful launch of the final PSLV mission of 2022, he said the two nations achieved a 'historic milestone' with today's mission

Updated - November 26, 2022 06:15 pm IST

Published - November 26, 2022 04:43 pm IST - Sriharikota (AP)

 External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. File.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. File. | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

India and Bhutan must harness space technology and its applications towards improving lives of the people, External affairs minister S. Jaishankar said on Saturday.

After the successful launch of the final PSLV mission of 2022, he said the two nations achieved a 'historic milestone' with today's mission.

The PSLV-C54/EOS-06 mission carried nine satellites, including the primary payload an earth observation satellite along with eight other co-passenger satellites.

One of the passenger satellites that rode piggyback on the 44.4 metre tall rocket is India Bhutan Sat—ISRO Nano Satellite 2 for Bhutan (INS-2B).

Through a televised address to the ISRO scientists at the Mission Control Centre, Mr. Jaishankar said the partnership between India and Bhutan has been taken to a new era in 21st century, through achievements in space and technology.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Bhutan in August 2019 had jointly inaugurated the ground earth station of the South Asia Satellite in Thimpu, which was constructed with the support of ISRO", he said.

India had launched a South Asia Satellite in 2017 as a gift to nations of South Asia region, including Bhutan and recognizing the positive impact SAS would have on the socio-economic development of Bhutan, Mr. Modi had offered increased bandwidth with additional transponders, he noted.

"Accordingly, the Indian side extended capacity building to Bhutan..," he said.

Referring to Saturday's successful launch, Mr. Jaishankar said, "In a landmark initiative, the two sides have now jointly developed a customised small satellite for Bhutan the INS-2B".

"I understand the primary payload of this satellite which is an imagery, will help Bhutan in natural resources management and the secondary payload which is designed and built by Bhutan will function as a digital repeater from space serving the amateur radio users." Mr. Jaishankar also informed that the Indian space agency was working with Bhutan to establish a ground station in Thimpu for receiving the data from this satellite INS-2B, which would be commissioned "shortly." "With rapid advancement in technology, we must as envisioned by the Majesty the King of Bhutan harness space technology and its applications for improving the lives of the people," he stressed.

Mr. Jaishankar congratulated scientists of India and Bhutan and termed it a "matter of great pride" for both the countries.

"I urge the team to keep up the good work even as we continue our collaboration in space technology," he said.

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