Dr Pv lakshmaiah IAS Study Circle > Current affairs > Science and Technology > ‘Optimistic’ space policy lays out plans to privatise sector
‘Optimistic’ space policy lays out plans to privatise sector
- April 23, 2023
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Science and Technology
- India’s budding private sector start-up space has drawn measured optimism from the Centre’s updated Space Policy-2023, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet on April 6, 2023, and was made public on Thursday.
- The policy is aimed at creating a flourishing commercial presence in space, augmenting space capabilities, using space as a driver of technology development, pursuing international relations, and creating an ecosystem for effective implementation of space applications among all stakeholders.
Entities created by the policy: The Space Policy-2023 creates four entities, which are:
- IN-SPACe: A “single window” clearance and authorization agency for space launches, establishing launch pads, buying and selling satellites, and disseminating high-resolution data among other things. It will also develop space industry standards, promote identified space activities and work with academia to widen the space ecosystem and enable industry-academia linkages.
- ISRO: The focus of ISRO will be on research into outer space, which will mean developing new space technologies and applications “…to maintain India’s edge” in space infrastructure, space transportation, applications, capacity building, and human spaceflight.
- New Space India Limited (NSIL): Responsible for commercializing space technologies and platforms created through public expenditure, as well as, manufacture, lease, or procure space components, technologies, platforms, and other assets from private or public sectors.
- Department of Space: It will provide overall policy guidelines, be the “nodal” department for implementing space technologies, co-ordinate international cooperation and coordination in the area of global space governance and programmes in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs. It will also create “an appropriate mechanism” to resolve disputes arising out of space activity.
- The clear demarcation of roles among various entities is meant for sowing the seeds for a burgeoning private sector space industry. The policy acts as an enabler and brings clarity that Department of Space won’t be everything, and whatever will be done will be relevant to the Ministry of Commerce, Finance, etc. IN-SPACe will play the role of growing a private sector.
- According to Arup Dasgupta, a former scientist at the ISRO and an observer of the space sector, much as India’s telecom sector is now dominated by private companies unlike a few decades ago, similarly the space sector too was envisioned to follow a similar trajectory. Narayan Prasad, COO of Satsearch, says the policy is an important “first step” in the commercial space ecosystem, but several others are needed, including directions on the new entities actively demanding goods and services from private start-ups, and clarity on whether IN-SPACe would take on regulatory roles. Sreeram Ananthasayanam, partner, Deloitte India, calls the enabling of open data access from ISRO’s remote sensing satellites revolutionary.
Foreign Direct Investment:
- The question of whether foreign direct investment via the “automatic” route will be permitted in space is as yet unresolved and pending government approval. Private sector participation has been highlighted as one of the main draws of the new policy, but they will be limited to Indian companies.
Open satellite data access:
- Enabling open satellite data access, satellite images with a ground sample distance (GSD) greater than five metres would be freely available. However, those with a GSD less than 30 cm require IN-SPACe authorization due to “national security considerations.”
Top of Formconclus
- The Indian Space Policy-2023 is a significant step towards creating a more robust and inclusive space industry in India. The creation of IN-SPACe, NSIL, and the clear demarcation of roles among various entities will pave the way for greater private sector participation in space activities. While there are still some issues to be resolved, such as the question of foreign direct investment in space, the policy has been well received by experts and is seen as a positive step towards creating a thriving private sector space industry in India.