October 19, 2021 - 10:47 am

Unlocking The Space Sector

Many years of pressure from the private sector and international players on the government to create an enabling ecosystem in India for private space industry, PM Modi flagged off new Indian Space Association (ISpA), an industry body that includes representatives of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), telecom companies, providers of geographic-information services, manufacturers and other stakeholders of the Indian Space Program.

                                                  ISpA will perform the role of policy advocacy and engage with stakeholders in the space sector, including the government and all its other agencies, New Space India limited (NSIL) and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), among others. At the outset, it seems like ISpA  will at best be an advocate for improving Indian industry's engagement with the country's celebrated space programme. The PM promised upcoming specific reforms via ISpA, based on four pillars of space technology : The freedom to innovate in the private sector; making the government act as an enabler; preparing the next generation for the future of the space industry; and ensuring the space sector is used as a common resource for the progress of humanity.

                                                  Indian now accounts for nearly 2% of global space commerce, estimated to be worth around 440 billion dollar today. The sector is expected to reach more than one trillion dollar in annual revenues by 2030, according to some estimates. Entrepreneurs can harness the space sector in quicken the speed of operations from shipment to deliveries. The ISpA a will also play a pivotal role in coordinating with the defence sector and other novels based organisations.

                                                  Today, however, India might be moving toward a more practical approach to emerging space issues - including the regulation of activity on the moon and exploitation of space resources - while retaining the essence of internationalism that defines the current regime on outer space. That, in turn, will demand more intensive Indian cooperation with like-minded countries, not only in the Quad but beyond. The Indian government's initial enthusiasm to support space activities with a wider range of industries and industry leaders is commendable. The vision for Indian government for India should be the destination for space products, technology and a global private space power house.