PM launches Indian Space Association, asks industrialists to participate in making space sector vibrant

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 11, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at the launch of Indian Space Association in New Delhi on Monday   -  PTI

India will have to ensure that space plays an important role in uniting and connecting the world

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed the hope that with the active engagement of stakeholders, and with suggestions from industrialists, a better space and remote sensing policy will be developed.

The 20th-century tendency of trying to rule space and the space sector divided the countries of the world. But now, in the 21st century, India will have to ensure that space plays an important role in uniting and connecting the world, he said.

On the likes of UPI platform

Speaking at the launch of the Indian Space Association (ISpA) on Monday, he stressed that to develop a strong start-up ecosystem, a platform approach is very important. “An approach where the government creates open-access public controlled platforms and makes that available to the industry and enterprises. Entrepreneurs prepare new solutions on this basic platform,” he said.

Celebrating India's space program with a watch made out of meteorite rock

Citing the platform of UPI, which became the basis for a strong fintech network, Modi said similar platforms are being encouraged in space, geospatial fields and for use of drones in various areas.

The government is moving ahead with a clear policy regarding public sector enterprises and is opening most of these sectors to private enterprises where the government is not required. “The decision regarding Air India shows our commitment and seriousness,” he said..

Connectivity push

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said that a space race has truly begun and this race is getting accelerated every day.

Satellite Broadband: A faster way to connect India

“We are seeing that very, very large, powerful countries, along with the private sector, are moving their agenda at a very fast pace. Without the support of the governments this becomes almost impossible. To that extent, I would say, we are delighted that our Prime Minister took a very timely step in moving the Indian space agenda to a different level. It’s been a timely provision, and we are greatly in support of the India space vision that has been laid out.”

New technologies are indeed where billions of dollars are being spent and are upending old technologies. It is therefore time for us to move. In the next three to five years, the space industry will dramatically alter, Mittal said.

Mittal, who has invested in space technology (OneWeb) for more than a year now, added that Bharti Enterprises and OneWeb will bring in connectivity to every square inch of the nation.

Enabling policy

Jayant Patil, Chairman, ISpA, said that in 2021, the space sector is fully open and the industry hoped to create a sunshine sector for Indian entrepreneurs in the private sector to actually start building solutions across domains in the space sector.

“We hope to be creating this with an absolutely embracing kind of an environment and will work with the government. We will work with all the decision makers to make India’s space sector a global player and an absolute position of pride for India in the times to come,” he said.

Asserting that the government is fully committed to reforms and ensuring healthy competition in the sector, Minister for Communications and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw exhorted the industry to study the global best practices and come up with suggestions to contribute in the formulation of an enabling policy.

“It is very obvious that space and telecom combined can help us reach areas which are conventionally not reachable... like forested areas, the tribal areas in very remote places... in North Eastern parts of our country, the Himalayan sections, the desert areas. Conventional methods could not take digital services to many of these sections. I hope with space technologies we will be able to reach those areas,” he said.

Published on October 11, 2021

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