Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Visiting U.S. Secretary of State will be the unveiling of a new strategic dialogue architecture and the signing of an agreement to facilitate the launch of U.S. satellites and satellites with U.S. components on Indian launch vehicles.

The new dialogue architecture is intended to take Indo-U.S. relations to a higher level, 3.0 — to use Ms. Clinton’s phrase — and will cover areas like nonproliferation, security, education, health and development.

The new Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) to be signed will cover launches involving satellites owned by U.S. government or academic institutions or by third country space agencies and universities which have U.S. equipment on board. Since the components and satellites will have to be integrated with ISRO’s launch vehicles, the TSA will provide for monitoring by the U.S. side to ensure against diversion or misuse of equipment.

The agreement to be signed will be an umbrella one — similar to the TSA that China and the U.S. signed — with individual licensing by the State Department likely dispensed with, but India will not yet be able to enter the lucrative market for the launch of U.S. commercial satellites or third country commercial satellites with U.S. components till a separate Commercial Space Launch Agreement (CSLA) is signed.

A second agreement will also be signed on a framework for “robust result-oriented cooperation” in science and technology for “collaborative research and its commercialisation.”This agreement will build on the October 2005 Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement.

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