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New space policy will help startups and meet the goals of self-reliant India

New space policy will help startups and meet the goals of self-reliant India

ISRO has unveiled the new Space Policy (Indian Space Policy 2023) on 20 April after recently getting approval from the Union Cabinet. In the new Indian Space Policy-2023, Non-Government Entities (NGE) or private companies or startups have been approved to set up and operate remote sensing satellite systems in the country and outside the country.

Under the new policy, private companies or startups will be able to operate both their own satellites and others bought or leased from outside. Apart from civilian applications of satellites, remote sensing satellites are used exclusively for surveillance in India. They are used in a way as ‘India’s eye in the sky’.

ISRO has already launched several remote sensing satellites like Risat and Cartosat etc. which are later used by Indian security agencies to monitor the country’s borders, check infiltration and conduct cross-border missions like the 2016 surgical strikes. Used to plan military campaigns and operations. However, it is not completely clear as to how much relaxation will be given to private enterprises and companies due to their usefulness in the strategic sector under the new space policy. Because under the new policy it has been mentioned that “this (permission) will be subject to the guidelines or regulations laid down by IN-SPACE (Space Regulator)”.

The new policy gives more freedom to private companies to set up their own space assets. It states, “Non-governmental entities may set up space objects, ground-based assets and carry out end-to-end activities in the space sector by way of setting up and operating related services such as communication, remote sensing, navigation, etc. Will be allowed. Also operate ground facilities for space object operations such as telemetry, tracking and command, earth stations and Satellite Control Center (SCC). They will be able to establish space objects for communication services in India and outside India. For Indian orbital resources and non-Indian orbital resources can also be used.

The new policy states that on providing space-based broadband services through a constellation of satellites, “offering national and international space-based communication services through NGE self-owned or purchased or GSO/NGSO communication satellites” can do.” The new policy also clearly defined the new roles of ISRO space regulator IN-SPACe and its commercial arm NSIL. Under the new space policy on IN-SPACe it is stated that “it is subject to relevant government directives, taking into account security, national security, international obligations and/or foreign policy considerations, by government entities as well as NGEs”. will act as a single window agency for authorization of space activities. On ISRO, the policy states that ISRO “as the national space agency, will primarily be involved in research and development of new space technologies and applications”. and will focus on the development and enhancement of human understanding of the world of outer space.”

The new policy states that the commercial NSIL will be responsible for commercializing space technologies and platforms created through public expenditure. It will manufacture, lease or purchase space components, technologies, platforms and other assets from the private or public sector on sound commercial principles. It will also cater to the space-based needs of the users on commercial principles.

Overall, this new Indian Space Policy-2023 is future-oriented. It will help in fulfilling the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will give a boost to the development of space industries in India. It is a policy to provide clarity on all space activities, especially with regard to space communication and other applications. It will also help in creating opportunities for the private sector to engage in all aspects of the space industry. The policy can become a catalyst for the development of a strong innovative and globally competitive space ecosystem in India. With this policy, programs related to space will be better, as well as the participation of private industry in the country’s space economy will also be encouraged.


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