In a renewed push for developing indigenous technology in the space sector, the Union Minister of State Science & Technology Jitendra Singh announced that the Union government plans to allow FDI in the sector to boost the investment by the foreign players.
According to the minister, around 75 start-ups have so far registered under the space technology category in the Startup India portal. The Union MoS in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha said that there are many more startups registered under other categories that are also involved in the space domain.
The minister said that to facilitate private sector participation in Space activities, Department of Space (DOS) is revising the existing policies in Space domain and new policy framework is being drafted to address various space sectors such as SpaceCom, Remote Sensing, Technology Transfer, Navigation, Space Transportation, Space exploration and Space Situational Awareness.
“Provisions are being factored in the above policy framework for the development of private sector including MSMEs and startups in space sector,” Union MoS said.
In a reply to another question on the steps taken by the government to bring private players on board to get their participation in the Space activities of ISRO, Singh informed that the government has announced reforms in June, 2020, in the space sector towards enabling the private players to provide end-to-end services and the steps were taken — national level autonomous Nodal Agency namely Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) under DOS has been created for promoting, handholding, authorizing and licensing private players to carry out Space Activities.
Access to ISRO facilities and expertise are extended to private entities to support their space activities. Apart from this ISRO will also nurture Indian space industries by sharing its experiences on quality and reliability protocols, documentation and testing procedures among others.
New Space India Ltd (NSIL), the CPSE under DOS will transfer the matured technologies developed by ISRO to Indian industries. Further the minister stated that to facilitate private sector participation in Space activities, the existing policies in space domain is being revised and new policies are being drafted to address policy framework for various areas such as SpaceCom, Remote Sensing, Technology Transfer, Navigation, Space Transportation, Space exploration and Space Situational Awareness.
Similarly, in order to address the necessary legal framework, the department is also in the process of enacting a National legislation. The draft Space Activities Bill has completed Public and Legal consultations and will be processed for further approvals for inter-ministerial consultations, Singh added.