New Delhi: According to a press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with key industries, startups, and academia from the space sector via video conferencing to encourage their participation in space activities on Monday, 14th December. The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister took the decision in June 2020 to open up the space sector and enable the participation of Indian private sector in the entire gamut of space activities. With the creation of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the reforms will provide a level playing field for private companies and start-ups, the PMO stated. Subsequently, several ventures have submitted proposals with IN-SPACe under the Department of Space. The proposals pertain to a vast range of activities including satellite constellation, small satellite launch vehicles (SSLVs), ground stations, geospatial services, propulsion systems, and application products.
Unlocking India’s potential in space sector
According to the PMO, Prime Minister Modi thanked the participants for providing feedback about their experience so far. He said that the decision to unlock India’s potential in the space sector has heralded a new age of public-private partnership in this sector. He assured the participants of the complete support of the government in this endeavour. He noted that the professionalism and transparency in policies as well as the decision-making process of the government will prove beneficial for the companies joining the space sector.
Taking note of the plans of companies to make rockets and satellites, PM Modi observed that this marks a big change that will further strengthen India’s foray into the space sector. He said that private investment in the sector will lead to the creation of hi-tech jobs, which will provide a host of opportunities to the talent pool in IITs & NITs and other technical institutions. He said that it is his firm belief that just like Indian talent has been able to attain worldwide fame in the IT sector, it will be able to do so in the space sector as well.
Going beyond Ease of Doing Business
Prime Minister Modi underlined that the reforms in the space sector are not limited to ensuring ease of doing business, but necessary mechanisms have also been put in place to ensure help for participants at each stage, including making available testing facilities and launchpads. He said that through these reforms, the endeavour is not only to ensure that India becomes a competitive space market, but also to ensure that benefits of the space program reach out to the poorest, stated the PMO, adding that he asked participants to think boldly and work for the benefit of the society and the country.
PM Modi underlined the significance of the space sector in communication and navigation. He assured participants that they will be co-passengers with ISRO in this age of space research and expressed hope that the country would soon become the manufacturing hub of space assets.
Active participants in the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
Dr K. Sivan, Secretary, Department of Space (DoS), and Chairman, ISRO, briefed Prime Minister Modi on various proposals received from industry for obtaining permission from IN-SPACe and support from the Department of Space. He shared that more than 25 industries have already approached the DoS for undertaking their space activities.
During the interaction, the participants provided feedback on the reforms to the Prime Minister. Sunil Bharti Mittal from Bharti Enterprises; Jayant Patil from Larsen & Toubro (L&T); Srinath Ravichandran from Agnikul Cosmos; Pawan Kumar Chandana from Skyroot Aerospace; Colonel HS Shankar from Alpha Design Technologies; Rakesh Verma from MapmyIndia; Awais Ahmed from PIXXEL India; and Srimathy Kesan from Space Kidz India expressed their views during the session.
The PMO stated that they thanked the Prime Minister for the move of opening up the sector for private participation, adding that this will help India move towards becoming a superpower in space technology. They expressed resolve to work as active participants in the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the PMO stated, adding that they appreciated the help and guidance being provided by ISRO for their projects and said that the collaboration of private agencies with ISRO will not only result in more rocket launches per year but will also shape new technological advancements in the development of rocket engines. They also suggested opening up ISRO facilities for children to draw them further into this sector.
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