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Indian space Policy 2023


The Indian Space Policy 2023 was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in order to institutionalise private sector participation in the space sector, with ISRO focusing on research and development of advanced space technologies.


Major Provisions of Indian Space Policy 2023

  • Delineation of Roles:

    •  ISRO will focus its energies on developing new technologies, new systems and research and development.

    • NewSpace India Limited (NSIL):  

      • It will carry out strategic activities related to the space sector which will work in a demand-driven mode.

      • It will provide hand-holding support to ensure a smooth and efficient transfer of technologies.

      • It will take care of the operational part of the ISRO mission.

      • the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is a public sector unit set up in 2019 under the Department of Space as the commercial arm of ISRO to replace the now defunct Antrix.

    • Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe):  

      • It will act as the interface between ISRO and non-governmental entities.

      • It was set up in 2020.

  • Entry of Private Sector:

    • The policy allows the private sector to take part in end-to-end space activities that include building satellites, rockets, and launch vehicles, data collection and dissemination.

    • The private sector can use ISRO facilities for a small charge and is encouraged to invest in creating new infrastructure for the sector.

  • Impact

    • The policy assumes that it will help India increase its share in the global space economy substantially from less than 2% to 10% in the future.


Journey of the Indian Space Industry

  • First Space Age-Untill Early 1990s: India’s space industry and space economy were defined by ISRO and private sector involvement was limited to building to ISRO designs and specifications. 

  • Beginning of Space The Second Space Age:

    • It started with licensing of private TV channels, the explosive growth of the Internet, mobile telephony, and the emergence of the smartphone. 

  • 1997:  The first satellite communication policy was introduced. It included guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the satellite industry. They were liberalised further. 

  • 2001: A remote sensing data policy was introduced,  which was amended in 2011; in 2016, it was replaced by a National Geospatial Policy that has been further liberalised in 2022.

  • A draft Space Activities Bill was brought out in 2017 to streamline things.


Why privatisation is Required?

  • Financial constraints: While ISRO’s budget is approximately $1.6 billion, India’s space economy is over $9.6 billion. 

  • Growth associated with Advancing technology: With the coming of Broadband, OTT and 5G a double-digit annual growth in satellite-based services is likely.

  • Job creation: It is estimated that with an enabling environment, the Indian space industry could grow to $60 billion by 2030, directly creating more than two lakh jobs.

  • Aatmanirbharta in the space sector:

    • Currently, more than half the transponders beaming TV signals into Indian homes are hosted on foreign satellites as a result of satellite communication policy, resulting in an annual outflow of over half a billion dollars.

    • Despite the remote sensing policy, Indian users including the security and defence agencies spend nearly a billion dollars annually to procure earth observation data and imagery from foreign sources.


Significance of the Indian Space Policy 2023

  • Vision: To “enable, encourage and develop a flourishing commercial presence in space” thus making the private sector  a critical stakeholder in the entire value chain of the space economy. 

  • Key points: It defines its role in India’s 

    • socio-economic development and security, 

    • protection of the environment and lives, 

    • pursuing peaceful exploration of outer space,

    • stimulation of public awareness and 

    • scientific quest”.

  • It is mainly focussing on civilian and peaceful applications.

  • It delineates the proper role of every organistaion.

  • It states that ISRO will “transition out of the existing practice of being present in the manufacturing of operational space systems. Hereafter, mature systems shall be transferred to industries for commercial exploitation and ISRO shall focus on R&D in advanced technology, proving newer systems and realisation of space objects for meeting national prerogatives” 

  •  ISRO will share technologies, products, processes and best practices with NGEs (non-government entities) and/or Government companies.

  • Role of the Private Sector

    • the NGEs (this includes the private sector) are “allowed to undertake end-to-end activities in the space sector through establishment and operation of space objects, ground-based assets and related services, such as communication, remote sensing, navigation, etc.”. 

    • Satellites could be self-owned, procured or leased; 

    • communication services could be over India or outside, and 

    • remote sensing data could be disseminated in India or abroad. 

    • NGEs can design and operate launch vehicles for space transportation and establish their own infrastructure. 

    • NGEs can now make filings with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and engage in the commercial recovery of asteroid resources.

    • Security agencies can task NGEs for procuring tailor-made solutions to address specific requirements.

    • These are to be done in accordance with the guidelines and regulations to be issued by IN-SPACe which will act as the single window agency for authorising space activities “by government entities and NGEs”, in keeping with safety, security, international obligations and overall national interests.


  • Despite giving an ambitious role for IN-SPACe it does not provide any time frame for the necessary steps ahead.

  • It needs clear rules and regulations pertaining to FDI and licensing, government procurement to sustain the new space start-ups, liability in case of violations and an appellate framework for dispute settlement.

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