Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004
Industry & Economy
Science & Technology
Government - Foreign Relations
Space projects on Indo-US priority list
Bangalore , June 22
INDIA and the US have put high-technology commerce, including for civil space programme, on their priority list for co-operation and are taking steps to create the necessary environment to enhance it based on mutual trust.
This was the conveyed by the US Ambassador, Dr David C. Mulford, and also in the Prime Minister's message read out at the inaugural session of the Indo-US space summit here.
In what he termed "giving each other space", Dr Mulford said: "Now we are actively seeking to re-energise our co-operation (in space). This will require sustained leadership on both sides, as well as the support of our private sectors and our scientific communities. We all want to increase high-tech co-operation and commerce between the US and India."
After some remarkable instances of co-operation, such as SITE (Satellite Instructional Television Experiment) of the 70s and satellite and launch service exports for INSATs in the 80s, the collaboration with India had slowed down in the 90s, he said.
"Political and economic factors kept us from resuming co-operation in space science at previous levels."
Now, things are moving forward and there is an ongoing dialogue in missile defence. But this is a phased exercise under the `Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership Initiative' taken up to expand co-operation in civil, nuclear, civil space and hi-tech trade.
The Minister of State in the PMO, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, read out the Prime Minister's message that there is vast scope for trade in civilian space and other high-technology areas.
Some 500 Government officials, scientists and industry delegates are attending the first comprehensive joint space summit.
The India-US Conference on Space Science, Applications and Commerce is on here till June 25.
ISRO arms such as Space Applications Centre, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and ISTRAC continue to be among the entities listed by the US.
At a news conference later, the ISRO Chairman, Mr G. Madhavan Nair, said that since 2002 sourcing of US parts for the space programme had become easier and the denial of technology was small.
Mr Kenneth I. Juster, Under-Secretary of Commerce, said that there were many misconceptions about the licensing regime; in fact, 93 per cent of ISRO's requirements got approval even under this dispensation, which he said was "above the norm".
Even Japan, its closest partner, has to get 700 applications processed in a similar manner.
US exporters too face non-tariff barriers in India such as complex Customs procedures, he said. With India's "excellent record in non-proliferation", these gaps could be filled, he added.
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