Parliamentary Panel Tells ISRO To Intensify Efforts To Indigenise Electronic Components Used In Space Programme

Parliamentary Panel Tells ISRO To Intensify Efforts To Indigenise Electronic Components Used In Space ProgrammePSLV Rocket launch (Representative Image) (Pic Via ISRO)

A parliamentary panel has asked the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to end its dependence on foreign players for the electronic components used in India’s space programme.

In a report tabled in Parliament on Friday (6 March), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change stressed on the need to ramp up efforts to indigenise electronic components used in ISRO’s satellites and launch vehicles, reports Times of India.

“Efforts to indigenise electronic components in our space programme must be intensified, if needed in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. An import dependence of more than 80% is unacceptably high,” the panel said in the report.

The panel also noted that India’s space programme depends on a single foreign company for the entire supply of the carbon-carbon fibre and composite, and said, “This is an area that demands urgent attention of the government.”

ISRO Chairman K Sivan said that in terms of value, majority of the components used in the space programme have been indigenised but there are still components like carbon-carbon fibre and electronics which are still being imported.

“If you look at it in terms of value, we’ve indigenised nearly 90%, and only about 9% is imported. These are just carbon-carbon fibre and electronics. We’ve started fabricating in our own lab,” Sivan said, as reported by ToI.

However, the ISRO chief added that indigenous production of some electronic devices has been started in the space agency’s semiconductor lab (SDL) at Chandigarh.

“In the last PSLV mission, the computer chip/processor (Vikram) was fabricated in SDL. Also, some of the detectors guarding HySIS spacecraft is from SDL," he said.

“Slowly, we are picking up in the production of such things in our own industry. But still, when you look at the total electronics used, we depend heavily on foreign sources, and this has to change” Sivan said.

He further added that in the coming days, the ISRO will either need to expand the SDL or bring in more industries for manufacturing the electronic components used in the space programme.

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