Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State Science and Technology has informed the parliament that till date, 135 applications have been received by Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) from      non-governmental entities (NGEs) in the space sector. Singh laid a statement on the table of the Lok Sabha in reply to a question on start-ups in space, and informed that a new seed fund scheme has been approved by IN-SPACe Board to provide initial financial assistance to Indian space start-ups.

In addition, the minister disclosed that a revised foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in the space sector, to facilitate overseas investment in NGEs and a National Space Policy, is in the process of final approval of the government. Meanwhile, with regard to the total imports and exports carried out in the space tech-based industry in the country, the minister noted that during the financial year 2021-22, items worth Rs 21.14 billion (approximately) were imported for executing various projects/ programmes. The major imported items include EEE components, high strength carbon-fibres, space-qualified solar cells, detectors, optics, power amplifiers, etc.

Further, during the financial year 2021-22, an amount of Rs 1.74 billion was generated towards export of launch services, data sales and in-orbit support services and post-launch operations, Singh added. The statement by the minister also noted that as per the Gazette notification dated October 2, 2021, IN-SPACe has been mandated to promote, enable, authorise and supervise NGEs in the space sector in India. IN-SPACe has started authorising Indian space companies for utilisation of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facilities for private companies/start-ups, installation of facilities within ISRO campuses, launch of satellites and launch vehicles, and mentorship support. Lastly, Singh asserted that with the announcement of space sector reforms, private players have started contributing to the space economy and their share is increasing.