Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched Indian Space Association (ISpA), an industry body for space sector, and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to remove every obstacle for the sector.
The PM said that fields like mining, coal, defence and space have been opened to private players, and his government’s clear policy about public sector enterprises is to open those to private industry where its presence is not required. While opening a host of sectors, the government has built a regulatory environment in which priority has been given to national interest as well as the interests of different stakeholders, he said.
“Earlier the space sector meant government. But we first changed this perception and made innovations in the space sector. This new thinking, new mantra is necessary because now is not the time for linear innovation for India,” Modi said.
He said this is the time for tremendous innovation and from defence to space, the government is sharing its expertise, providing launch pads for the private sector, facilities of ISRO are being opened to the private sector.
“There has never been such a decisive government in India as it is today,” he said adding that major reforms are taking place in the country regarding the space sector and space technology. “Today the country is witnessing such massive reforms simultaneously because today the vision of the country is clear. This is the vision of a self-reliant India. This is a strategy that will make India a superpower in the world by enhancing the skills of the youth of India,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India is among the few countries which has end-to-end technology in the space sector while assuring the industry that continuous support will be provided by the government. Modi said government’s approach is based on four pillars when it comes to space improvement. “First, freedom of innovation to the private sector. Second, the role of the government to facilitate things. Third, preparing the youth for the future, and fourth, viewing the space sector as a resource for general human progress,” he added.
The ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations in the space and satellite technologies. Its founding members include Bharti Airtel, Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Alpha Design Technologies. Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Ananth Technology Limited, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL, Centum Electronics, Maxar India. The association will engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework that fulfils the government’s vision.
Speaking during the launch, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal said space communications is going to be the new frontier. “It is therefore time for us to move. In the next three to five years, the space industry will dramatically alter,” Mittal said. “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,” he added.
Jayant Patil, Whole time director – defence & smart technologies, L&T-NxT is the first chairman of ISpA and Rahul Vatts, chief regulatory officer, Bharti Airtel and director – OneWeb India is the vice chairman.