New Delhi, Jan 5:The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding signed at Port Louis, Mauritius on November 01, 2023 between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) under the aegis of the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication, and Innovation of the Republic of Mauritius, concerning cooperation on the development of a Joint Small Satellite.
The MoU will help to establish a framework for cooperation between ISRO and MRIC on the development of a joint satellite as well as for cooperation on the use of the MRIC’s Ground Station. Some of the subsystems for the joint satellite will be taken up through the participation of Indian industries and would benefit the industry.
Collaboration through this joint development of satellite will help in further ensuring continuous support from the Mauritius Government for the Indian ground station at Mauritius, which is critical for ISRO/India’s launch vehicle and satellite missions. In addition, the joint satellite building will also help in ensuring MRIC support from their ground station for ISRO’s small satellite mission in future. Some of the subsystems for the joint satellite will be taken up through the participation of Indian industries and thus may result in employment generation.
Signing of this MoU shall enable the joint realisation of small satellite between ISRO and MRIC. The satellite realisation is proposed to be completed in 15 months’ time frame.
The estimated cost for realisation of the joint satellite is Rs.20 crore, which will be borne by the Government of India. This MoU does not involve any other exchange of funds between the Parties.
The space cooperation between India and Mauritius is dated way back in late 1980s when ISRO established a ground station in Mauritius for tracking and telemetry support for ISRO’s launch vehicle and satellite missions, under a country-level agreement signed in 1986 for this purpose. The current space cooperation is being governed by the country-level agreement signed on 29.7.2009, which superseded the 1986 agreement.
Based on the interest expressed by MRIC in jointly building a small satellite for Mauritius, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) requested ISRO to initiate discussions with MRIC on realizing an India-Mauritius joint satellite, with MEA funding for realisation, launch and operation of the joint satellite. The MoU was signed on November 1, 2023 at Port Louis, Mauritius during the visit of Minister of State (MEA) to Mauritius for the ‘Aapravasi Diwas’ event.