Why in News?
- Recently, the Indian Space Policy 2023 was ratified by the Cabinet Committee on Security. The policy aims 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 Role- The Indian Space Policy 2023 policy delineates the roles and responsibilities of the Indian Space Research Organization, New Space India Limited (NSIL), and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), along with that of the private players in the Indian space sector.
- Strategic activities related to the space sector will be executed by NSIL, which will work in a demand-driven mode.
- IN-SPACe will be the intersection between ISRO and non-governmental entities.
- ISRO will focus its energies on developing new technologies, new systems and research and development.
- The operational part of ISRO’s missions will be moved to the NewSpace India Limited.
- Entry of Private Sector- The policy will permit the private sector to take part in end-to-end space activities that involve building satellites, rockets, and launch vehicles, data collection and dissemination.
- The private sector can use ISRO facilities for a small charge and is motivated to invest in creating new infrastructure for the sector.
- Impact- The policy will support India increase its share in the global space economy substantially from less than 2% to 10% in the future.
Current Status of India’s Space Sector-
- Globally, Indian Space Sector has been recognised for building cost-effective satellites, and presently India is launching foreign satellites to space.
- As part of India’s commitment to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, the country continues to support peaceful and civilian use of outer space and resist any weaponization of space capabilities or programs.
- ISRO is the 6th largest space agency in the world and holds an exceptional success rate.
- With more than 400 private space companies, India ranks fifth globally in no. of space companies.
Several Recent Developments in India’s Space Sector-
- Defence Space Agency- India has recently established its Defence Space Agency (DSA) supported by the Defence Space Research Organisation (DSRO) that has the mandate to form weapons to “degrade, disrupt, destroy or deceive an adversary’s space capability”.
- Further, the Indian Prime Minister launched the Defence Space Mission at the Defence Expo 2022, Gandhinagar.
- Expanding Satellite Manufacturing Capabilities- India’s satellite-manufacturing opportunity will touch USD 3.2 billion by the year 2025 (in 2020 it was USD 2.1 billion).
- SAMVAD Program- To encourage and nurture space research among young minds, ISRO introduced its Student Outreach Program called SAMVAD at its Bengaluru facility.
Challenges Related to the Space Sector-
- Lack of Regulations on Commercialisation- The commercialization of outer space is intensifying due to the development of private satellite expeditions for Internet services (Starlink-SpaceX) and for space tourism.
- It is possible that if no regulatory framework is introduced, rising commercialisation may lead to monopolisation in the future.
- Rising Space Debris- As outer space expeditions increase, more space debris will pile up. Because objects orbit Earth at such high speeds, even a small piece of space debris can destroy a spacecraft.
- China’s Space Leap- Compared to other countries, the Chinese space industry has grown swiftly. It has successfully introduced its own navigation system, BeiDou.
- Increasing Global Trust Deficit- An arms race for weaponization of outer space is building an environment of suspicion, competition, and aggressiveness across the globe, potentially leading to conflict.
- It would also put at risk the entire range of satellites together with those included in scientific explorations and communication services.