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Green signal for ISRO’s plan to create private sector base

ISRO’s broad policy of creating a private sector industrial base has got the green signal.

As a first step of the Industrial Participation Policy, the space organisation has tied up with the CII to unfold the big picture of manufacturing opportunities with it before a large industrial audience here on June 5.

The current level of outsourcing per Plan is around Rs 2,000-3,000 crore and this would be taken up to at least Rs 8,000 crore during the Tenth Plan, said the Space Secretary and ISRO Chairman, Dr K. Kasturirangan.

ISRO increasingly needs to outsource as, with each Plan, the number of space projects has been steadily growing in tune with the demand. Some 15 projects are slated for 2002-04 alone, and in the coming years, the number of telecom satellites and launch vehicles are set to grow further, even go fully commercial. The forthcoming Insat 4 series, for example, will have seven satellites against five in the three series.

Already, some 500 large, medium and small industries contribute about 60 per cent of the satellites and launch vehicle components. The launch vehicle segment has the maximum industry participation.

In the long run, ISRO aims to focus on research and leave the manufacturing to the private sector – on the lines of its European or US counterpart. It recently set up an exclusive arm, Space Industries Development, to promote the activity.