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Science & Technology

Private Sector Participation in Space

  • 25 Jun 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Union Cabinet has 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.

Key points

  • IN-SPACe: It will act as a single-point interface between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and everyone who wants to participate in space-related activities, or use India’s space resources.
    • It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.
  • Indian National Space Promotion Board: It would be set up to strengthen the Department of Space and for the promotion of the private space entrepreneurs or non-government space entrepreneurs,
  • Role of ISRO: The overall idea is to let ISRO concentrate on essential activities like research and development, planetary exploration, and strategic use of space, while freeing itself from ancillary or routine work which could easily be done by private industry.
  • Demand Driven Model: By the support of New Space India Limited (NSIL), It 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.
    • The main objective of NSIL is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes in comparison to IN-SPACe which gives emphasis on the participation of the private sector.

Significance

  • Level Playing Field for Private Companies: IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
  • Research and Development Activities: These reforms will allow ISRO to focus more on new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme.
    • Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to the private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
  • Fruitful Dissemination of Space Technologies: Allowing industries and others like students, researchers or academic bodies greater access to space assets would lead to a much better utilisation of India space resources.
  • Socio-economic use of Space Assets: The proposed body would attempt to enhance the activities, including access to space assets data and activities
  • Global Technology Powerhouse: It will enable Indian Industry to be an important player in the global space economy. With this, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a Global technology powerhouse.

New Space India Limited

  • NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of the Government of India.
  • It was established in 2019 under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
  • Headquarter: Bengaluru
  • NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities and is also responsible for promotion and commercial exploitation of the products and services emanating from the space industry.
  • NSIL is incorporated to carry forward the industry production of space systems and the ISRO’s efforts in realising Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) from industry.
  • NSIL differs from ISRO’s existing commercial arm Antrix Corporation:
    • Antrix will handle ISRO’s commercial deals for satellites and launch vehicles with foreign customers.
    • NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.

Way Forward

  • Space sector can play a major catalytic role in the technological advancement and expansion of our Industrial base.
  • Therefore, the creation of IN-SPACe will work towards a greater involvement of private industry, academic institutions and research organisations in India’s space sector.
  • India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stages of space activities.

Source: IE

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