New Delhi August, 20: Speaking at the webinar on ‘Unlocking India’s Potential in Space Sector’ on Thursday K. Sivan, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief said that the government’s decision to ban the import of communication satellites throws up a huge opportunity for private players.
Recently the government had banned the import of 101 defense items to make the Indian defense industry self-reliant and boost indigenization. The list of import embargoed items includes satellites like GSAT 7R, GSAT-6 Satellite Terminals, and Communication Satellite GSAT-7C. Sivan also added that the launch of small satellites also offers immense potential for the private sector and some private sector companies will soon realize their rockets.
As per the Sivan private sector participation in the space, the sector is healthy as it increases diversity. He also said stressing that ISRO is not being privatised the space agency will look at research and development (R&D), capacity building, and facilitate private sector participation.
He said the private sector will have to do its own R&D, funding, market studies, and others while ISRO will provide the technical knowhow while the proposed Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) will be the regulatory body for the private players in the space sector.
According to Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, the public-private-partnership (PPP) model is the way to go while unlocking potential in the space sector. He said cost efficiency, high-end engineering skill, and frugal engineering will propel the Indian space sector. Mahindra urged the government to think and create structures and systems that were not there earlier.
Moreover, Sunil Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said that it is required to have a light touch and unambiguous policies to facilitate private sector participation in the Space Sector which should also protect the security and strategic interest of the country.
As per the R. Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, the Space Activities Bill has been submitted to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and inter-ministerial consultation will happen and the Cabinet will take a decision. He added the Satcom Policy, Remote Sensing Policy is being reviewed and a new Navigation Policy is being formulated.