Private sector to get level playing field with space reforms

The move is part of reforms aimed at giving a boost to private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.

June 24, 2020 08:49 pm | Updated 11:06 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A security guard stands behind the logo of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at its headquarters in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

A security guard stands behind the logo of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at its headquarters in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) to provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. This is part of reforms aimed at giving a boost to private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.

“The IN-SPACe will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment,” the government said in a statement. ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL)’ would endeavour to reorient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ one, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of the nation’s space assets, it stated.

Space companies await the fineprint of reforms with big hope

India was among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector and these reforms would allow the Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO) to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme, the statement said. “Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism,” it added.

ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had stated that NSIL was incorporated to carry forward the industry production of space systems and the ISRO’s efforts in realising Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) from industry. He had also stated that more than 500 Indian industries were contributing to ISRO programmes and more than half of the project budget outlay flowed to these industries.

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