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India offers to share satellite data with ASEAN countries

October 24, 2009 21:34 IST

India on Saturday offered to help south-east Asian nations in the management of natural disasters by sharing satellite data for the region and launching small satellites built by them.

"We would be ready to share satellite data for management of natural disasters, launch small satellites and scientific instruments and payloads for experiments in remote sensing and communication for space agencies and academic institutions in ASEAN countries," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

He was addressing the Seventh India- Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in this scenic Thai beach resort town. The Indian Space Research CentreĀ  has one of the largest constellation of advanced remote sensing satellites in the world that orbit the earth at regular intervals.

Images of the earth received from these satellites can be utilised for disaster management initiatives in the ASEAN region, parts of which are prone to cyclones and earthquakes.

In addition, the prime minister said, India would be happy to participate in projects under the ASEAN's Work Plan for 2010-15 in areas such as education, energy, agriculture and forestry, and small and medium enterprises.

Dr Singh also offered ASEAN nations enhanced cooperation in agriculture sector with a view to meeting the challenges of food security. India will host a meeting of agriculture ministers of ASEAN countries next year, where efforts will be made to identify specific areas of cooperation, including extension services.

Some ASEAN countries have been partnering international efforts to develop a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System was tested by 18 countries recently as part of a multi-national drill to gauge preparedness for the next time killer waves strike the region.

Of the 18 countries, India, Indonesia and Australia have established advance warning systems and have been exchanging bulletins on a regular basis.

Prakash Chawla in Cha-Am Hua Hin
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