India opens up space sector for private sector participation

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday initiated a historic reform in the space sector and approved private sector participation in space activities.

Amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday initiated a historic reform in the space sector and approved private sector participation in space activities.

With these reforms, India’s space sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stages of space activities, the Cabinet stated in a release.

The Cabinet said that this will not only boost the growth of the space sector but will enable the Indian Industry to be an important player in global space economy. With this, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a global technology powerhouse.

The Cabinet list out key benefits mentioned below:

“Space sector can play a major catalytic role in the technological advancement and expansion of our Industrial base. The proposed reforms will enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including through improved access to space assets, data and facilities”.

The newly created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.

The Public Sector Enterprise ‘New Space India Ltd (NSIL)’ will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets.

These reforms will allow ISRO to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme. Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism, the Union Cabinet added.

First Published:June 24, 2020, 5:27 p.m.