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US has asked Isro to ‘pause’ launch of American satellites

india Updated: May 11, 2016 01:31 IST
PTI
US

The United States has asked India to put on “pause” the plan to launch commercial American satellites till the federal government gives a go ahead on mandatory technology exports.(PTI File Photo)

The United States has asked India to put on “pause” the plan to launch commercial American satellites till the federal government gives a go ahead on mandatory technology exports, Isro has told a parliamentary panel.

“For the launch of US-licensed satellites meant for non-commerical purposes from India, the US had enabled granting of export licenses upon signing of Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) in July 2009. The agreement was again renewed in 2014.”

“For commercial satellites, we have got into a scenario where the American side is saying to hold it on pause. They are not agreeing with providing the necessary export clearance for the commercial satellite. This particular discussion is on hold for the last three Indo-US cooperation meetings,” the then Department of Space secretary K Radhakrishnan told a Committee on Government Assurances (2015-16) on December 3, 2014.

The Committee tabled its report before the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

To facilitate the launch of US-licensed satellites meant for commercial purposes in India, discussions were initiated to conclude Commerical Space Launch Agreement (CSLA), it said.

“Even after several rounds of discussions, before the visit of the US President to India in November 2010, both sides could not converge on a mutually agreeable draft. The discussions were focused mainly on definitions and clauses on subsidies, improper business practices, transparency, inducements, etc.”

“In January 2011, the US proposed a pause in further discussion on the subject,” the report quoted the former Isro secretary as saying.

“The last meeting on CLSA with US officials was held in October 2010 at Bangalore and there may not be any further discussion on the topic in near future,” Radhakrishnan had said.

The committee said considering the fact that bilateral ties have improved a lot in the recent times, the department should renew its efforts and “strategise” for negotiations with the US authorities for arriving at an agreement for launching commercial American satellites by Isro at the earliest.