Although the Gaganyaan programme of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been lauded and promoted, it has reportedly not received enough funds required. A Parliamentary panel has stated that the budgetary allocation for the year 2020-21 does not reflect the importance it deserves.
The Gaganyaan Programme envisages sending a crew of astronauts to space and bring them back safely to Earth before the 75th Independence Day of India i.e. August 2022.
The programme is touted to be "prestigious national endeavour with global significance", however, it has not received the required funding. The report, presented by a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, which tabled its report in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, also said the budget allocation to the project must be enhanced by another Rs 3,000 crore at the Revised Estimates (RE) stage.
The Department of Space had projected an amount of Rs 4,256.78 crore for the Gaganyaan mission in the Budgetary Estimate (BE) against which an amount of Rs 1,200 crore has been allocated.
The report read, "The Gaganyaan Programme is a very prestigious national endeavour with global significance. But the budgetary allocation for 2020-21 does not reflect this importance. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the allocation under the Gaganyaan Programme must be enhanced by another Rs.3000 crore at the RE stage, as originally envisaged by the Department."'
The report also requests the Government to look into the issue that only one firm - foreign - supplies the carbon fibre and composites and that it requires urgent attention, and that the launch facility at Sriharikota needs "substantial up-gradation of access and logistics infrastructure", particularly since the number of annual launches is projected to double in the next five years, among others.
Earlier, speaking at the inaugural session of the Symposium in Human Spaceflight and Exploration, ISRO Chief K Sivan said that the mission looks to help build long term international cooperation. "Mission Gaganyaan will provide us with opportunities to build a framework for long-term national and international collaborations & cooperation. This mission is not just about sending a human to space," he had said.