The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on November 4, 2020. The MoU will facilitate scientific and technical collaborations between the two countries in the field of Astronomy.
The MoU had been signed between the Instituto de Astrofiscia de Canarias of Spain and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Under the MoU activities such as New Technologies, New Scientific results, Joint Scientific Projects and Capacity building would be concluded in the field of Astronomy. The activities would be concluded through increased scientific interaction and training between the countries. Further, the MoU would open up the joint research training, projects, programmes, seminars and conferences to all scientists under the programme.
The diplomatic relation between India -Spain was established in 1956. However, the relation gained its momentum after the establishment of democracy in Spain in 1978. Spanish Embassy was opened in New Delhi in 1956. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II was appointed as the first Ambassador of India to Spain in 1965. Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao was the first prime minister that visited Spain in 1992. Later, in 2017 Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Spain.
Among the European Union, Spain is the 7th largest trade partner of India. The trade between both the countries in 2017-18 stood at US$ 5.66 billion. India´s exports to Spain grew by 16.65%. India´s top exports to Spain include textiles, iron, Steel, organic chemicals, seafood, automobiles and leather. While, India imports mechanical appliances, electrical machinery, chemicals, plastic and mineral fuels from Spain. Further, Spain is the 15th largest investor in India. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the major states for Spanish investments in India. Whereas, Indian investment in Spain stands at around US$ 900 million.
Currently, a Joint Programme of Cooperation in S&T in going on that was signed in 2009. A Science, Technology and Innovation Steering Committee Meeting between the two countries was also held in September 2017. There are further ongoing innovation driven joint R&D projects in sectors including bio pesticides, bio-economy, biosensors, waste-to-energy, e-health and flexible electronics. Also, a MoU on cooperation in Organ transplants was also signed recently.