India has decided to train space scientists of countries that lack satellite-building capability. The country announced this initiative during the UNISPACE+50 meeting in Vienna recently. Talking to TOI, ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan, who led the Indian delegation at the four-day summit from June 18, said, “India has taken the initiative to train scientists of countries like UAE and African nations that lack the technical knowhow and capability to build a satellite. India won’t charge for this capacity-building programme but will play a role in short listing scientists for the training programme.” Dr Sivan said, “India will also launch the satellite built by ISRO-trained scientists of a country if the spacecraft is well-built and clears all tests.” The Indian move was welcomed by member countries of UNISPACE+50. “The Indian delegation also had bilateral talks with space scientists of 12 countries, including France, Israel and Japan, on the sidelines of the meeting. The talks focused on enhancing space collaboration.” Some months ago, India had a pact with Israel on development of atomic clocks, electric propulsion for small satellites and GEO-LEO optical links. With France, the country had in March signed an agreement for close collaboration on inter-planetary missions. The discussion on the fringes of the Vienna summit was meant to boost cooperation in these fields. India’s initiative came at a time when the forum commemorated the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking 1968 UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE). The symposium also gave an opportunity to the international community to consider the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of the humankind.The conference took place around a regular session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), the committee that works on problems from sustainability on Earth through space activities to the sustainable use of space environment.