Outer Space

The growing strategic importance of outer space: C Raja

(C Raja is the director of Institute of South Asian Studies at National University of Singapore. The column first appeared in the print edition of The Indian Express on September 26, 2021)


  • In opening new pathways for outer space cooperation with the US and Quad partners—Australia and Japan — in Washington last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned India to engage more productively with a rapidly evolving domain that is seeing more commerce and contestation. Delhi’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on a recognition of two important trends. One is the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the 21st-century global order. The other is about the urgency of writing new rules for the road to peace and stability in outer space. The new emphasis on space cooperation is part of a much larger technology agenda outlined by India and its Quad partners. In the statement issued after bilateral talks, Modi and President Joe Biden called on India and the US to “continue and expand their partnership in new domains and many areas of critical and emerging technology — space, cyber, health security, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology, and blockchain, that will define innovation processes, and the economic and security landscape of the next century”.

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