While addressing the inaugural session of G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh described India as an emerging space economy. G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting is organised under India’s G20 presidency by the Department of Space, Government of India.  

The minister said that India is one of the very few countries which have built end to end capability in space. Over these years, space technology has penetrated to all walks of life. As a result, there is a huge demand for space based services which have huge commercial potential, he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has decided to open up the space sector for the Indian private industry through the 2020 space sector reforms to enhance their participation in end-to-end space activities with hand holding of ISRO.

The minister further added that the reforms aim to make private industries a co-traveller in India’s space journey by allowing them to undertake independent end to end space activities. The increased private industry participation will eventually result in increased contribution of India in the global space economy.

Dr Jitendra Singh also stated that a nodal entity called Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center (IN-SPACe) has been created towards promoting and authorising private industries participation. The creation of IN-SPACe has received overwhelming response from the Indian space industry. The first privately built sounding rocket was launched last November and a space start-up has established a launch pad inside ISRO’s launch complex. A few start-ups have built and launched satellites, he added.

The minister said that in order to give further boost to private investments, the Union Cabinet had approved India’s space policy which envisages and encourages private participation in all areas of space activities.

Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the Department of Space for organising the Space Economy Leaders Meeting at Bengaluru and a Precursor event at Shillong. He added that the major objective of these events should be to make space as a formal element of G20 discussions, in future. The minister concluded by wishing all the best to the diplomats, heads of national space agencies and the space industries from G20 and guest countries for participating in the deliberations.