Amid requests from various countries for launch of their satellites, India has decided to set up one more launch site to expand its capacity in this aspect.

At a meeting held by the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary T.K.A. Nair here to review performance of the Department of Space, it was decided that a feasibility study would be conducted for a new site, sources said.

The decision to find a new site was taken after the meeting was told that ISRO has only two satellite launch pads, both of which are affected during the cyclone season, the sources said.

The two launch pads are located at Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR).

During recent years, there have been requests from a number of countries for launching their satellites in India.

The meeting was also informed that despite successful launch of GSAT-8 and GSAT-12 satellites, there is shortage of transponders primarily due to DTH and communication requirements.

It was decided that steps should be taken to meet the gap within two years, the sources said.

At present, Department of Space is leasing transponders and using foreign launch vehicles to meet the needs.

The sources said thrust is being given by the PMO on these spheres as part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s desire to see boost in scientific innovation in the current decade.

Pursuant to Prime Minister’s keenness, government has decided to push contribution of private sector in scientific research and development from the current 20 per cent to 50 per cent and undertake a number of other crucial steps.

The meeting felt that investments in research and development in the country is “highly skewed” as 80 per cent of contribution comes only from the public sector.

It was noted that in advanced and emerging economies, private sector plays a dominant role in R&D and encourages innovation, the sources said.

Accordingly, it was decided that secretaries concerned would jointly prepare a proposal on private sector investment in R&D by the end of next month, they said.

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