Cabinet approves setting up of ISRO’s technical liaison unit in Moscow

RSTV Bureau
Sriharikota: ISRO scientists carry out the successful launch of India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 by GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle, in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, Monday, July 22, 2019. ISRO had called off the launch earlier on July 15 after a technical snag was detected ahead of the lift off. (ISRO/PTI Photo)

File photo: ISRO scientists carry out the successful launch of India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 by GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle, in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh (ISRO/PTI Photo)

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of ISRO Technical Liaison Unit in Moscow to enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and other neighbouring countries, a statement said.

The step comes amid the India Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) cooperation with Russia on the Gaganyaan project–India’s human space mission programme.

An average annual expenditure of about Rs 1.5 crore per annum is anticipated to be incurred at ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) towards salary, office expenses, rent and taxes.

“The ISRO Technical Liaison Unit at Moscow will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and neighbouring countries for the realisation of the programmatic targets of ISRO,” the statement said.

The ITLU Moscow office will be managed by an ISRO scientist or engineer designated as Counsellor (Space) on deputation and supported by the staff sourced locally. The process is planned to be completed within six months from the date of approval, it said.

The office is also expected to support the ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO on the matters referred.

“ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme requires the development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialised facilities, which are essential to support life in space,” the statement said.

The Department of Space has instituted technical liaison units like ITLU at Washington and Paris with the prime objective to liaise with various government and space agencies in the USA and Europe, respectively.

Space cooperation has been one of the major links between India and Russia almost from the beginning of the space era and currently, both sides are actively pursuing interactions in diversified areas of the space programme.

The cabinet also approved two pacts between the ISRO and space agencies of Bolivia and Bahrain, the statement added.

(With inputs from agency)