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Centre receives 27 proposals from private companies to speed up India’s space activity

As India sets eyes on the space sector and looks to boost its presence in the field amid a growing push from the US, China and Russia, 27 proposals have reached the government from private companies for various space-related activities. Minister of State for Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh informed the Lok Sabha.

The proposal varies from building and launching launch vehicles, building, owning and operating satellites, providing satellite-based services, establishing ground segments, research partnerships and providing mission services.

“The global space economy is poised to grow over a trillion dollars in the next two decades. With the space sector reforms, the Indian private space industry is slated to contribute to the core elements of the global space economy,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that these space-based services could include developing launch services, manufacturing of launch vehicles and satellites, the establishment of the ground segment and launch infrastructure.

“Participation of the private sector including academic institutions, start-ups and industries in end-to-end space activities is expected to expand the national space economy, generate more employment opportunities and create better manufacturing facilities,” the ministry said.The Cabinet recently approved the participation of the private sector in the entire range of space activities.

Isro chief K Sivan had in June said that the Centre’s decision to open up the space sector to private enterprises will put India in a new league. “The space sector, where India is among a handful of countries with advanced space technology, can play a significant role in boosting the industrial base of India. The government has decided to implement reformed measures to leverage Isro’s achievement by opening the space sector for private enterprises,” Sivan said.

The Cabinet recently approved the participation of the private sector in the entire range of space activities, including planetary exploration missions. The Department of Space comes under the Prime Minister’s Office. The government has assured players that it will promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.

Space tech being used for digital education

As Covid-19 pushes people across the country to conduct day to day operations remotely, space technology applications are finding larger use in school education. 19 states are using satellite communication for beaming educational content in digital mode under the Tele-education Programme.

Meanwhile, the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N) is broadcasting 51 educational channels using satellite communication.

“The Space Sector is opened up for larger participation of non-governmental entities which is expected to bring in wide opportunities to provide space-based applications including digital education,” the ministry added.

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