India Officially Opens Up Space Sector For Private Players, Forms New Coordinating Body; ISRO To Focus On R&D
Indian government on Wednesday (24 June) decided to officially open up country's space sector for private players allowing them to work on space exploration missions and other space activities, News18 reported.
The government, after its Union Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, announced the decision to set up Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), a body that will coordinate with private companies and startups that enter the sector to undertake commercial space operations. It will also allow and regulate the use of country's existing space infrastructure by private players.
The decision to open the doors of the sector to private companies, according to the government, will also allow the state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to venture more freely into research and development (R&D) field and advanced programmes.
ISRO would now “focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme”, according to government announcement.
Announcing the cabinet decision relating to Indian space sector Minister of State for Atomic Energy & Space, Jitendra Singh said one complaint against the existing set up was that it was not allowing level playing field for the private sector even though the capability was present.
He also said the New Space India Limited (NSIL), a public sector organisation setup in 2019, will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a 'supply driven' model to 'demand driven' model, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of the country's space assets.
NSIL will also “hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment”, read a statement release by the government.
The United States (US) already has such a model working successfully, allowing private firms to work on space explorations with the government-owned National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) overseeing missions undertaken by them.
“India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stages of space activities. This will not only result in an accelerated growth of this sector but will enable 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 press release further added.
(With inputs from IANS)
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