Space technology is a significant aspect of a society’s development. It has greatly benefitted us in various fields such as education, research, communication, management of natural disasters and overall, in improving the quality of human life. With economical progress, India has been striving towards executing such space missions which not only aid the national development but establish our position in the international space exploration movement that has been rapidly expanding.
Another such progress was made recently when the Indian Space Association or ISpa was launched. It aims to privatize the space sector by allowing private firms to collaborate with the government for achieving the objective of self-reliant space technology as well as providing India with a lead role as the global space hub. Policies to achieve the same would be framed in consultation with the stakeholders.
Who are the members?
Larson & Toubro, OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Bharti Airtel, Ananth Technology Ltd and the like constitute the founding members. Other key members are Centum Electronics, Maxar India, Godrej and many more. These members will work in line with the shared vision of the government and coordinate with the shareholders.
The association’s Director-General is Lt Gen Anil Bhatt (Retd) who also served as the Director-General of Military Operations previously. Mr. Rahul Vatts who is the Director and Chief Regulatory Officer of Bharti Airtel will serve as the association’s Vice Chairman. The association’s first appointed chairman is Mr. Jayant Patil, Director of Defence and Space technologies, L&T-NxT.
What is it based on?
According to the government, four pillars comprise the shared idea of promoting this space reform.
- Innovation freedom in the private sector– The government wishes to encourage private sector participation in the development of strategies that would shape the future of India in the space sector. Drafting legislation, engaging in research to develop efficient and high-quality devices that cater to the needs of clients across the globe so that India can become a major manufacturer of space-related equipment are some of the aspects which would be handled in a much better manner if many firms work mutually.
- Government’s enabling role– The government would play an important role in the creation of an environment that is optimal for coordination and cooperation between the members and shareholders. Experts from the government would not only share their ideas but also promote much-needed innovation while keeping national interests at the forefront.
- Preparing youth for the future- With extensive research and innovation emerges a brilliant opportunity to develop academia which would make the youth enthusiastic to learn more about the industry and contribute towards its expansion. Young minds would get a chance to explore more career options in this field which would enhance India’s global performance.
- Using the space sector as a developmental source- This reform would aid India’s progress in multiple aspects such as better resource management, interplanetary explosion, more successful space missions, better weather forecasting, country’s imaging and mapping.
Overall, the launch of the Indian Space Association is a very positive step to benefit various sections of society, ranging from entrepreneurs to youth. It has the potential to transform India into a global leader of the space sector backed by expert interventions from the government and various agencies. Pushing for policies and legislations to enhance India’s growth in terms of critical technology would bring in employment and better wages.
The participation of national and international agencies would bring in more innovation and cooperation. It has the strength to make India a preferred destination for future international investments and which can transform it into a commercial hub. It would also assist in easing the workload of ISRO which has been at the center of India’s space hub developments.