Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that the decision to open up India’s space sector has heralded a new age of public-private partnership and expressed confidence that Indian talent will achieve worldwide fame in this field in the same way it did in the IT sector.
Interacting with key industries, start-ups and academia from the space sector via video conferencing to encourage their participation in space activities, PM Modi said professionalism and transparency in policies as well as the decision-making process of the government will prove beneficial for the companies joining the field.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said PM Modi assured the participants of complete and wholehearted support of the government in their efforts.
“This morning, I had a productive interaction with industry leaders, academicians and the start-up community associated with the space sector. India is making remarkable strides in this sector. This sector has also witnessed path-breaking reforms this year,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Replying to a tweet from CEO of Pixxel Awais Ahmed, who attended the meeting, PM Modi said, “Space is the space to be in! I assure you, and several others like you, of the constant support from the Government. The reform trajectory in this sector will also continue.”
The prime minister spoke of the space sector’s significance in communication and navigation and told the participants that they will be co-passengers with ISRO in this age of space research, expressing hope that the country would soon become the manufacturing hub of space assets, the PMO said.
“He said the decision to unlock India’s potential in the space sector has heralded a new age of public-private partnership in this sector,” the PMO said, quoting PM Modi.
Taking note of the plans of companies to make rockets and satellites, he said this marks a big change that will further strengthen India’s foray into the space sector.
He said private investment in the sector will lead to the creation of hi-tech jobs, which will provide a host of opportunities to the talent pool in IITs and NITs and other technical institutions.
The prime minister said it is his firm belief that just like Indian talent has been able to attain worldwide fame in the IT sector, it will be able to do so in the space arena as well.
Underlining that the space sector reforms are not limited to ensuring ease of doing business, he said necessary mechanisms have also been put in place to ensure help for the participants at each stage, including making available testing facilities and launch pads.
He said the endeavour is not only to ensure that India becomes a competitive space market, but also to ensure that the benefits of the space programme reach out to the poorest.
He asked the participants to think boldly and work for the benefit of the society and the country, the statement added.
The Union Cabinet had in June 2020 decided to open up the space sector to enable the participation of Indian private sector in the entire gamut of space activities.
With the creation of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the reforms will provide a level playing field for private companies and start-ups, the PMO said.
Subsequently, several ventures have submitted proposals with IN-SPACe under the Department of Space, and they pertain to a vast range of activities, including satellite constellation, small satellite launch vehicles, ground station, geospatial services, propulsion systems and application products, it said.
During the interaction, K Sivan, secretary, Department of Space and ISRO Chairman, briefed the prime minister on various proposals received from industry and noted that more than 25 industries have already approached the department for undertaking their space activities.
Sunil Bharti Mittal from Bharti Enterprises, Jayant Patil from Larsen & Toubro, Srinath Ravichandran from Agnikul Cosmos, Pawan Kumar Chandana from Skyroot Aerospace, HS Shankar from Alpha Design Technologies, Rakesh Verma from MapmyIndia, Awais Ahmed from PIXXEL India and Srimathy Kesan from Space Kidz India also expressed their views during the session, the PMO said.
Appreciating the government’s measures, they also suggested opening up ISRO facilities for children to draw them towards the sector.