India, Tunisia enter space cooperation

Governments of India and Tunisia have agreed to partner in joint exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes. The deal comes amid India’s emergence as a global leader in space technology

August 5, 2019

The deal includes cooperation in space science, technology and applications in remote sensing of earth, satellite communication, satellite navigation and space science

Tunisian Minister for Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, during his visit to India in 2015, had expressed interest to pursue space cooperation with India

Tunisia is in the process of evolving a national space programme and desired to learn from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) experience in the field

The Government of India’s 2019-20 Union Budget allocated US$1.8 billion for space research, which is an increase from the US$1.6 billion allocated in the previous year

India’s Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a preliminary deal between India and Tunisia on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. The deal, signed at Bengaluru in June 2019, comes amid India’s emergence as a global leader in space technology. The agreement will enable cooperation in space science, technology, and applications in areas such as remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; and space science and planetary exploration. The deal will also cover the use of spacecraft and space systems and ground systems; and application of space technology.

Tunisian Minister for Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, during his visit to India in 2015, had expressed interest to pursue space cooperation with India. Tunisia is in the process of evolving space programme and desired to learn from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) experience in the field. The latest agreement would lead to setting up of a joint working group, drawing members from Department of Space/ISRO, India, and the National Centre for Cartography and Remote Sensing, Tunisia, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this agreement. The partnership will bolster bilateral ties. 

The Government of India’s 2019-20 Union Budget allocated US$1.8 billion for space research, which is an increase from the US$1.6 billion allocated in the previous year. In May 2019, India’s tally of operational satellites rose above 50 as ISRO launched an observatory satellite to assist with agriculture, forestry and disaster management. India has undertaken over 110 spacecraft missions, including satellites dedicated to communication observation, navigation, scientific research and exploration, and more. The state-run ISRO has emerged a reliable partner for space R&D and satellite launches, launching over 100 satellites in a single mission. The success has attracted global partnerships.