The Union Cabinet has approved the Indian Space Policy, 2023 which seeks to boost private sector participation in the space sector. According to Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, the policy will enhance the role of India’s space department and give a boost to research, academia, start-ups and industry.
As per the minister, the policy will allow the private sector to take part in end-to-end space activities that include building satellites, rockets and launch vehicles, data collection and dissemination. He said strategic activities related to the space sector will be carried out by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), which will work in a demand-driven mode.
According to S Somanath, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the new space policy will focus on increasing the participation of the private players in the space sector. The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) will be the interface between ISRO and non-governmental entities. He said that the policy also spells out the framework for the private sector to use ISRO facilities for a small charge and encourages them to invest in creating new infrastructure for the sector. Somanath added that ISRO will not do any operational and production work for the space sector and focus its energies on developing new technologies, new systems and research and development. The operational part of ISRO’s missions will be moved to NSIL.
Further, as per Lt General A. K. Bhatt (Retd.), director general, Indian Space Association (ISpA), this is a historic moment as the cabinet has approved the Indian Space Policy 2023. It will pave the way forward with much-required clarity in space reforms and augment private industry participation to drive the space economy opportunity for the country.