Private firms to get access to ISRO’s facilities, space exploration opportunities

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes. com | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
May 16, 2020 06:30 PM IST

The government’s announcement of reforms in the space technology sector is part of the self-reliant India mission announced by PM Narendra Modi

The government on Saturday announced enhancing of private partnership in the space sector in a move to further encourage private investments in space technology development, exploration and capacity building. The reform will also open up Indian Space Research Organisation’s facilities for use by private players.

New Delhi, May 16 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference at Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
New Delhi, May 16 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference at Media Centre in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made the announcement while delivering the 4th chunk of the Rs 20 lakh crore Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Special Economic Package, aimed to transform the Indian economy into a self-reliant system. Sitharaman said the opening up of the space sector was likely to provide a level playing field for private companies in satellites, launches and space-based services.

Also Read: Nirmala Sitharaman special economic pkg: Structural reforms in 8 sectors in 4th tranche of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package

“India has the benefit of an extraordinary institution like the ISRO. ISRO has brought the country many laurels; however, today the private sector is also doing a lot of work in the space arena and a lot of individuals and start-ups have spent a lot of time developing space-related technology but unfortunately due to Indian regulations, they are unable to use ISRO’s available facilities for even testing their products,” said Sitharaman.

In India, companies like Solar Industries India, Skyroot Aerospace, Godrej Space and L&T are already working with ISRO on rocket systems and other space-related technologies.

Sitharaman said the government will provide predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players to encourage their participation.

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They will also be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities, she added.

She made it clear that the extent of private participation also included future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel etc.

In addition to the above, she also promised a liberal geospatial data policy for providing remote sensing data to tech entrepreneurs.

The reform is likely to help overcome the manpower and budgetary limitations holding back the development of the sector in India. The demand for the launch of satellites is growing and ISRO has indicated that it doesn’t have enough manpower to meet the growing demand and will look at private participation to augment the overall capacity.

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