Private participation in space sectorApprox Read Time: 6 minutes
- The government has brought in major reforms in the Indian space sector by providing a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
- The aim is to boost participation of private industry, academic institutions and research organizations in the entire range of space activities.
- The privatization of space had earlier been announced by Finance Minister as part of the sectoral changes that were to be brought about to help the Indian economy become self-reliant or “aatmanirbhar”.
Major Announcements for Space Sector:
- Formation of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre or IN-SPACe:
- Objective- Its major objective is to promote the participation of private industries in space activities including planetary exploration missions.
- Proposed Functions of IN-SPACe:
- The proposed IN-SPACe will act as a single-point interface between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and everyone who wants to participate in space-related activities or use India’s space resources.
- It will enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including access to space assets data and activities.
- It will also promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and friendly regulatory environments.
- It will provide a level playing field for private participants to use Indian space infrastructure.
Setting up of Indian National Space Promotion Board:
- This new board will take care of private space entrepreneurs or non-government space entrepreneurs.
- It will endeavour to reorient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ one, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of the nation’s space assets.
Opening up of planetary exploration missions to private sector:
- Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to the private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
- Optimum utilization of New Space India Limited (NSIL)
About: New Space India Limited
- It is a public sector enterprise set up in 2019 for commercial exploitation of the research and development of ISRO and its several centres and laboratories.
- It is under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS).
- Objectives of NSIL Formation:
- Its objective is to commercially exploit the research and development work of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)Centres and constituent units of DOS.
- NSIL was set up to meet the ever-increasing demands of Indian space programme and to commercially exploit the emerging global space market.
- Roles & Functions:
- NSIL will act as an aggregator for all space related activities in industry and develop private entrepreneurship in space related technologies.
- Manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in collaboration with Private Sector.
- Production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) through Indian Industry
- Production and marketing of Space based products and services, including launch and application.
- Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centres and constituent units of DOS.
- Marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad.
- The emergence of NSIL would spur the growth of Indian industries in the space sector and enable Indian industries to scale up manufacturing and production base.
Advantages of Space Reforms:
- India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the space sector will receive new energy and dynamism which will help the country to leapfrog to the next stages of space activities.
- The entry of private sector in space sector will let ISRO concentrate on essential activities like research and development, planetary exploration, and strategic use of space.
- This will free ISRO from ancillary or routine work which could easily be done by private industry.
- Allowing private participation of industries and others like students, researchers or academic bodies in space sector would lead to a much better utilisation of India space resources and more fruitful dissemination of space technologies.
- It will result in the accelerated growth of the sector and enable the Indian industry to be an important player in the global space economy.
- It will also provide an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a Global technology powerhouse.