Union Cabinet: MoU between India and Spain in Astronomy approved

On November 4, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Spain. The MoU will facilitate scientific and technical collaborations between the countries in the field of Astronomy.

Key Highlights

The MoU was signed between the Instituto de Astrofiscia de Canarias of Spain and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Under the MoU the following activities are to be conducted

  • New Technologies
  • New Scientific results
  • Joint Scientific Projects
  • Capacity building through increased scientific interaction and training.

The joint research training, projects, programmes, seminars and conferences are to be opened to all scientists under the programme.

India-Spain

Spain is the seventh largest trading partner of India. The bilateral trade between the countries was 5.66 billion USD in 2017-18. During this year, the exports of India to Spain grew by 16.65%. the top exports of Spain are iron, textiles, steel, seafood, organic chemicals, leather and automobiles.

Spain is the fifteenth largest investor of India. Indian investments in Spain is 900 million USD.

Agreements

In 2017, India and Spain signed several agreements strengthening their cooperation. This was during PM Modi’s visit to the country. This was the first time an Indian Prime Minister visited Spain in 25 years. The countries then signed agreements on cyber security, organ transplantation, renewable energy, civil aviation, etc.

Why should India focus on Spain?

  • According to the FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index ranking issued by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Spain is one of the countries with fewest regulatory restrictions.
  • Also, Spain offers state-of-the-art infrastructure that includes third largest high-speed rail network in the world after China, Japan. Currently India is focusing on these areas under the cooperation with Japan.
  • Spain offers access to 500 plus unique European market.

Way Forward

The countries are currently only exploring their ways to build on their cooperation. They should hasten the implementation and unlock the potentials.

 

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