‘India committed to peaceful use of outer space’

October 15th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRONew York, Oct 15 (IANS) India favours peaceful uses of outer space for the common good of mankind, a member of the Indian delegation to the UN General Assembly session here has said, citing initiatives such as the country’s first unmanned mission to the moon to be launched next week.Tariq Anwar, MP, detailed the advances made by India’s space programme such as the impending launch of lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, and providing remote sensing data and assessment support to the countries affected by natural disasters.

“Indian Remote Sensing imagery and support services were made available for post-disaster relief operations after the major cyclone and earthquake that recently struck Myanmar and China respectively,” Anwar said while participating in the debate on agenda item “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” of the 63rd UN General Assembly Tuesday.

Among space applications in India, Anwar cited 33,000 EDUSAT classrooms that provide support to quality education across the country and the expansion of telemedicine network to make expert medical consultancy in cities available to patients in remote areas - both through satellite linkages.

The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also takes a special interest in capacity building and services for assisting developing countries in the application of space technology, Anwar said.

The Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and Pacific Region, operating from India, has so far conducted 26 postgraduate programmes and 19 short-term courses and workshops benefiting nearly 750 scholars from almost 50 countries, he pointed out.

Vishvjit P. Singh, another member of the Indian delegation to the UN, participating in a debate on “The Rule of Law at the National and International Level”, said the conventional view favours a “top down” approach, in which building the rule of law is primarily about crafting the right laws and institutional arrangements, which can be informed by international best practices.

However, he said, an alternative is the bottom-up approach, which involves providing technical assistance to different players in a transition country’s legal and political community-such as training lawyers and judges that helps build both a culture of respect for the law and a constituency that will demand legal reforms from their government.

Suggesting that the two strategies are not mutually exclusive, Singh agreed with the UN Secretary General’s report to identify partnerships with national rule of law stakeholders as a key that can provide insights on dynamics underlying important concepts and suggest innovations to improve the likelihood of success of a programme.

“We see promotion of the rule of law as an essential tool for ensuring sustainable development and peaceful coexistence and cooperation among States,” Singh said.

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