In a joint statement the Prime Ministers of Bhutan and India agreed to collaborate on the joint development of a small satellite for Bhutan. They directed that a Joint Working Group (JWG) be formed to implement the project and other related activities, including developing a geoportal system for Bhutan for natural resources and disaster management, using remote sensing and geo-spatial data.
Bhutan, in 2018 had launched its own cube-sat satellite into space.
The statement said that recognizing that space technology, together with digital and emerging technologies, offer tremendous potential in accelerating the socio-economic development of a nation, both sides agreed on the need to strengthen collaboration in these areas.
The two Prime Ministers inaugurated the Ground Earth Station of the South Asian Satellite in Thimphu, which was constructed with the support of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Prime Minister Dr. Tshering appreciated the vision of Prime Minister Shri Modi in launching the South Asia Satellite (SAS) in 2017, as a gift to the countries in the South Asia region, which has enabled Bhutan to improve the reach and cost-effectiveness of Bhutan Broadcasting Service, while also enhancing the disaster management capacities within the Kingdom.
Recognizing the positive impact that the SAS would have on the socio-economic development of Bhutan, Prime Minister Shri Modi offered increased bandwidth on an additional transponder as per Bhutan’s requirements, as a gift to the people of Bhutan. Prime Minister Dr. Tshering welcomed the offer as a major milestone in taking forward His Majesty The King’s vision in harnessing space resources for the benefit of the country and its people, and in opening a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries that extends to the realms of space.