In a recently attended webinar, organized by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), it was encouraging to hear prominent government officials and young entrepreneurs agreeing to the fact that the recent reforms in Space policy are setting the tone for making India a technological powerhouse. The decision of the Indian government to bring in the private sector in Space is appreciated and welcomed by all as mentioned by Lt Gen PJS Pannu PVSM AVSM VSM (retd), “This announcement is music to ears.”
From what can be gathered from the discussion is that the Public Private Partnership in Space sector is the need of the hour to enable India to gain a prominent place in the global space map. As Chairman of ISRO, Dr K Sivan, stated, “Space applications are increasing at a rapid pace. With the Digital India initiative progressing, these application areas will explode. ISRO alone will not be able to manage such high demand alone. If it does then it will have to increase its capacity 20x times, which is almost impossible. In our country, young minds, start-ups, private industries are coming forward to take up Space activities and this is a necessity with increase in Space applications. Only with this kind of partnership can India make a significant contribution to the $360 billion global Space economy.”
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However, the first step to make such partnerships thrive is to have proper mechanisms at place, which are currently missing. The good news is that ISRO is working towards establishing a mechanism for public private participation in Space activities. Directorates have been set up to carry out this task effectively. So, the ball has started rolling!
“The Space industry is predicted to grow into a $3 trillion economy by 2040 and to reach there we need young minds and the private sector partnership. India is rich in technical talent and we must harness that”, rightly pointed out by Dr Bidushi Bhattacharya, ex-NASA Scientist, and CEO of AstroHub.
There is no discipline which is not touched by Space. Young entrepreneurs can develop unique solutions to fight the crucial problems of today. Space can play a vital role in military revolution and digital warfare, towards which, unfortunately the world is moving. Since Space is the ultimate God’s eye as mentioned by Lt Gen PJS Pannu, the private sector, under the guidance of ISRO can bring powerful solutions for a better prepared India of tomorrow.