The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved far-reaching reforms in the space sector aimed at boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.
In a tweet sent out from his official Twitter handle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The Union Cabinet’s approval to reforms in the space sector is yet another step towards making our nation self-reliant and technologically advanced. The reforms will boost private sector participation as well.”
On June 10, INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY had reported how the Central Government was moving to allow private sector participation in space exploration.
India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stage of space activities.
This will not only result in the accelerated growth of this sector but will enable the Indian Industry to be an important player in the global space economy. Additionally, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and the country becoming a global technology powerhouse.
Enhancing Use of Space Assets
The space sector can play a major catalytic role in the technological advancement and expansion of the country’s industrial base. The proposed reforms will enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including improved access to space assets, data and facilities.
The newly created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.
The public sector enterprise, New Space India Ltd (NSIL) will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a supply-driven model to a demand-driven model, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of the country’s space assets.
These reforms will allow the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme. Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to the private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
Kushinagar Declared International Airport
The Union Cabinet also gave its approval for the declaration of Kushinagar airport in the state of Uttar Pradesh as an international airport.
Kushinagar airport lies close to several Buddhist cultural sites like Sravasti, Kapilvastu and Lumbini, and the upgrade will help offer improved connectivity and a better choice of competitive options to air travellers. It will also result in boosting tourism and economic development in the regions.
Located in the north-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagar is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. It is also quite close to the Indo-Nepal border. The country’s aviation industry is projected to be among the global top three by the next decade.