The Union Cabinet Wednesday announced the formation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to promote the participation of private industries in space activities, including planetary exploration missions.
The Cabinet decision comes weeks after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the opening up of the space sector for private entities.
Briefing the media, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “We have built up good space assets, these are now in a way being opened for use by everyone.”
#Cabinet approves far reaching reforms in the Space sector aimed at boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.
— PIB India (@PIB_India) June 24, 2020
The Cabinet said IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure and will guide them “through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment”.
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However, IN-SPACe will not be a separate institution but work as an extension into ISRO, said Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh. The Department of Space comes under the PMO.
The Cabinet also said that the public sector enterprise ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL)’ would endeavour to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of ISRO’s space assets.
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The reforms, the Cabinet said, will allow ISRO to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme. It also hinted the participation of private entities in some of the planetary exploration missions through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
The latest announcement comes as ISRO prepares for its third planned lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-3 and its first manned mission to space, Gaganyaan.
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