Cabinet approves India-Mongolia Agreement on exploration of outer space
On January 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the agreement between India and Mongolia to explore outer space for civilian and peaceful purposes. The countries signed the agreement in September 2019.
The agreement enables the countries to pursue research in planetary exploration, space system, application of space technology. The plan is to set a Joint Working Group by drawing members from ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), DOS (Department of Space). Communications and Information Technology Authority (CITA) of Mongolia. The finances for the project are to be approved in stage-by-stage basis.
India maintains close ties with Mongolia and is interested in developing trade with the country as it is rich in mineral deposits. During PM Modi’s visit to the country in 2015, which was the first ever Prime Ministerial visit to Mongolia in the Indian history, PM announced 1 billion USD grant to the country. Mongolia has abundant deposits of minerals namely coal, gold, copper, molybdenum, tin, fluorspar, tungsten and tin. The country also holds huge Uranium deposits.
Mongolia is one of the 29 resource rich developing countries in the world according to International Monetary Fund.
In 2018, India exported 51.6 million USD of goods to Mongolia and imported goods with 1 million USD. This is very little as compared to that of its neighbours China and Soviet Union.