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NEW DELHI : Global challenges need to be fought through global collaboration, regardless of our respective ideologies or individual leanings, said Union Minister of state for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh. 

Addressing the Ministerial Plenary in Abu Dhabi on the ‘Role of Foreign Policy in Enabling Space Diplomacy and International Cooperation’, the minister said that space debate has brought all of us together to think about the wellbeing of the Earth. 

Singh added that India has envisaged for itself and pledged that our space and atomic energy programmes are dedicated to peaceful purposes. “The same was said when we started our atomic programme soon after independence in the immediate backdrop of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings during 2nd world war, when the world hated anything which carried the name atomic with it." 

He said that India’s founding scientists like Homi Bhabha had declared India’s peaceful nuclear pursuits to the world. “We have walked the talk and vindicated the same in the case of our Space programme as well." 

The minister added that India distinguishes itself as it has successfully used Space technology for bringing in ease of living for the common citizens by working in different sectors like railways, smart cities, roads and buildings, highways, digital health, telemedicine. 

Singh said that in the last 2-3 years, with the indulgence of Prime Minister Modi, a decision was taken to open it up to the non-government entities for private participation. “Within a span of 2-3 years, we have more than 100 start-ups and two of the start-ups have launched private satellites to grace the sky." 

He called for collaboration with UAE in the Space sector. “Development of the Space sector is one of the priority areas for the leaders of both India and the UAE. The indigenously developed Space sector of India and the fast-growing Space sector of the UAE have a lot of complementariness that can be harnessed for greater good." 

Earlier, the minister had appreciated the thrust of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate for building the role of Governments in empowering space business and technology. 

“The list of discussions in ADSD on the role of the space sector to solve the climate issues, bringing accountability to environmental commitments, threats to and from space to the political discourse and making the presence of private sector and space innovation people driven that serve humankind; are very relevant to our time and are eye-opening topics, setting apart this initiative from any other such gathering in Space sector in the past," the minister said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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