What has happened?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA) and said that India will ensure that the space sector unites the world.
- “India will have to ensure that space plays an important role in uniting, connecting the world in the 21st century,” he said.
- In an official statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said,
- “Echoing the prime minister’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the ISpA will help in making India self-reliant, technologically advanced and a leading player in the space arena.”
What is ISPA?
- As per a PMO statement, “ISpA is the premier industry association of space and satellite companies, which aspires to be the collective voice of the Indian space industry.“
- The association plans to undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian space domain, including the government and its agencies.
- The ISpA is represented by home-grown and global corporations with capabilities in space and satellite technologies.
- Its founding members include Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Bharti Airtel, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Ananth Technology Limited. Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL,
- Centum Electronics and Maxar India.
Who will head this body?
- Lt Gen Anil Bhatt (Retd) is the director general of the new body which will work to promote industry interests and business opportunities globally.
- Anil Bhatt previously served as the director general of military operations.
4 pillars of space sector reforms
- PM said that reforms in the space sector are based on four pillars:
- Freedom of innovation to the private sector, The government’s role as an enabler, Preparing the youth for the future and Seeing the space sector as a tool for the development of the common man.
- PM Modi added that earlier the space sector was only limited to the government.
- However, “we changed that mindset and introduced innovations in the field. We brought the government and startups together because it is not the time for linear innovation but exponential innovation.”
Importance of Private sector
- India is one of the few countries which has developed expertise in launch vehicles, satellites and interplanetary exploration.
- “We need to strengthen the brand value of efficiency and affordability and we need to become part of the end-to-end space system supply chain.
- As partners, the government will support the industry, young innovators, startups.”
- Invoking the government’s role in boosting the private sector in space technology, the prime minister said,
- “From the Defence to Space sector, the government is sharing its expertise, providing a launch pad for the private sector and Isro’s facilities are being opened.
- We will ensure that technology that has matured in the sector is transferred to private companies and the government will act as an aggregator for space assets.”
For common people
- The space sector is a medium for the development of the common people and aims to provide better mapping, imaging and connectivity.
- Providing better speed to entrepreneurs, improved forecasting, security and income for the agriculture sector, predicting natural disasters and saving lives and livelihoods.
- He said that with the reforms underway in the sector, the government aims to increase the participation of women in the field.
- Meanwhile, the government is also in the final stages of finalising a policy around remote sensing.
Recent progress in space sector
- India has made great strides in the field of space research in the last few years.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also undertaken a number of launches, though Covid-19 has impacted the schedule of some of these space missions.
- According to senior ISRO officials, the country’s first solar mission, which was pushed from early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is likely to be launched in the third quarter of 2022.
- The agency will also launch Xposat, India’s second space observatory, next year.
- Before the pandemic, the space agency had planned for 20 launches in the financial year 2020-21, including the first unmanned flight under the Gaganyaan mission.
- The Gaganyaan mission is also likely to be undertaken by the end of 2022 or in early 2023.
Q) Which of the following is correct regarding Indian space industry?
- It accounts for just 2% of the global space industry.
- Antrix Corporation is a private body for commercially exploiting space products.
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 & 2
- None of the above