India has come a long way since the 19 April 1975 launch of its first satellite, Aryabhata, with assistance from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But it has only been in recent years that the government and the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) have concentrated on building a holistic ecosystem that supports the growth of the country’s space industry, with the private sector playing a key role.
After the establishment of the Indian Space Promotion & Authorization Centre, or IN-SPACe, in 2020 and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), in 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the “Space Policy” in April. The two organisations, along with the Department of Space and ISRO, will play a significant role, and their roles have been established. In contrast, NewSpace India Limited, a public sector entity, will be in charge of commercialising space technology and leasing, manufacturing, or purchasing space components, platforms, and other assets from both the public and private sectors. IN-SPACe will have the responsibility of promoting, directing, hand-holding, and authorising space activities in the nation.
IN-SPACe will have the responsibility of promoting, directing, hand-holding, and authorising space activities in the nation
The Space Policy has been received with great optimism by modern startups. The Indian government has made a positive start towards fostering an atmosphere that would support the private space sector with the Indian Space Policy 2023. In the beginning, it denotes the growing interest of the Indian government in private sector involvement in the space industry as well as the development of indigenous skills in important fields, such as space situational awareness.
The Space Policy seeks to avoid any predictable regulatory overlap that may otherwise impede the development of the Indian Space Ecosystem by specifying the duties and responsibilities of all relevant agencies.
The government will now encourage greater private sector involvement in the whole value chain of the space economy, including the production of space and ground-based assets, which is a key component of the programme. The policy has made it possible for non-governmental organisations and the private sector to set up and run launch infrastructure in accordance with the general rules and regulations set forth by IN-SPACe.
The government will now encourage greater private sector involvement in the whole value chain of the space economy
Future startups cannot rely on the infrastructure of the past. The industry will witness the rise of numerous players in specialised fields as end-to-end space operations are enabled. Such infrastructure has only been built or developed by ISRO, whose new purpose will be to concentrate primarily on the research and development of new space technologies and applications.
Since its start, IN-SPACe has actively assisted the private sector, handling everything from navigating India’s regulatory landscape to granting authorizations. In accordance with policy, IN-SPACe will make sure that non-governmental organisations have fair access to infrastructure and will also make it easier for the transfer of innovations created by ISRO. The whole scope of India’s space sector capabilities can only be attained when the reverse phenomena take hold, i.e. when vital technologies generated by the private sector are absorbed for use in ISRO missions or by other agencies.