Aerospace manufacturing can be the next frontier for a country such as India which had acquired the capacity to develop satellites and launch vehicles, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor has said.

He was inaugurating the National Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar (NAMS), organised by the Society of Aerospace Manufacturing Engineers (SAME), here on Friday.

Citing the example of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, he said, “why cannot India develop the capacity to develop civilian aircraft?”

He said India could leverage its skilled, inexpensive manpower, and engineering expertise for aerospace manufacturing. This, he said, would also help address the unemployment problem in the country.

He stressed the need for the public and private sectors to work together to develop the requisite technology and skills to enhance the country’s capacity in aerospace manufacturing.

Dr. Tharoor called upon the Indian aerospace industry to imbibe certification standards and tap the global market. Highlighting the need to train budding engineers for the global aerospace industry, he said the country had the potential to export engineering talent.

The Mars Orbiter Mission demonstrated the huge cost advantage of India’s space programme, he added.

Dr. Tharoor presented the lifetime achievement award instituted by SAME to Koshy M. George, Deputy Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and general secretary of the society.

Presiding over the function, S. Ramakrishnan, Director, VSSC, said ISRO was seeking more involvement from industry to ramp up the rocket launch rate in the years to come. He said the consortium approach involving both public and private partners had worked well in the manufacture of hardware materials and components for various indigenous launch vehicles.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said manpower attrition was a major issue faced by the Indian industry. “Many of the companies find themselves unable to hold on to employees who have been trained by ISRO. They will have to find out means to retain manpower,” he said. M.C. Dathan, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC); N. Sai Baba, Chief Executive, Nuclear Fuel Complex; and V. Ramachandra, president, SAME also spoke.