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ISRO's K Sivan Unveils Reforms For IN-SPACe & NSIL After Centre's Space Privatisation Push

ISRO chairman K Sivan announced reforms, on Wednesday, a day after the Centre cleared the path for private entities to participate in space activities


Indian Space research Organization (ISRO) chairman K Sivan elaborated on the government's series of reforms on Wednesday, a day after the Union Cabinet cleared the path for private entities to participate in the entire range of space activities. Addressing the nation via a videoconference, K Sivan spoke about how the formation of a new institution for this purpose – Indian National Space, Promotion and Authorisation Centre or IN-SPACe will be aided by the ISRO alongside ensuring the emergence of India as a global technological hub. The ISRO chairman announced two important reforms which would pave the way ahead for IN-SPACe. 

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'Transit into a new space era'

Announcing the first major reform, K Sivan said that the IN-SPACe would act as a national nodal agency for handholding and promoting the private sector in space endeavours and that ISRO would be sharing its technical expertise with IN-SPACe & would help in setting up of facilities as per the needs and feasibility. Indicating that the whole IN-SPACe mechanism would take three to six months to become fully operational, K Sivan emphasised on the need for a new navigation policy apart from the modifications that need to be made to the existing SATCOM & remote sensing in order to help IN-SPACe function effectively. Further, the ISRO chairman said that the private entities could apply directly to IN-SPACe and that their applications would be processed on a fast-track basis. 

"Far-reaching reforms will put India in a league of few countries with efficient promotional and authorisation mechanism for private-sector space activities", he said

The second reform announced by K Sivan focused on the New Space India Limited (NSIL) and via it to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply-driven’ model to a ‘demand-driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets. However, the ISRO chairman clarified that ISRO would continue to carry out space activities. Elaborating on NSIL's role, K Sivan said that the reform would allow private entities to work on operational launch vehicles, satellites, commercial activities & will implement them through industry consortiums. ISRO will whole-heartedly support the private sector as per IN-SPACe decision, said K Sivan and revealed that an industry promotional meet would be organized within a fortnight.  

"We are very excited about these reforms and are confident that our innovative youth will avail the opportunities arising from these reforms", he added.  

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IN-SPACe

Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh, announced the formation of a new institution – Indian National Space, Promotion and Authorisation Centre or IN-SPACe. He said the Centre will guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies in a friendly regulatory environment. He maintained that the body's role has been extended into the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). According to a government statement, IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.

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Optimum utilization of space assets

The Public Sector Enterprise ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL)’ will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply-driven’ model to a ‘demand-driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets, the government further said. These reforms will allow ISRO to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme. Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to the private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.

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