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India Ends Monopoly of its Space Agency, Sets Up New Entity to Facilitate Private Players

Sputnik News

13:54 GMT 24.06.2020(updated 14:06 GMT 24.06.2020)

New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 16 May announced certain structural reforms which included the opening up of space technology to private players. Sitharaman had said, "future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel, etc shall also be open for the private sector".

India's federal cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up a new entity named the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to provide a level playing field for private companies to use the country's space infrastructure. Briefing the media, India's junior Minister for Space Dr Jitendra Singh said, IN-SPACe "will hand-hold, promote, and guide the private industries in space activities."

The decision to end the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s monopoly was announced on 16 May by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. She also called to make future projects for planetary exploration and outer space travel open to the private sector.

"Over the past 70 years, space activities or working were behind a shroud of secrecy, very little in the public domain and also a lot of confidentiality. Perhaps our space capabilities were limited only to handful of scientists working in the department of space and ISRO", said Dr Jitendra Singh.

The minister said that in the last few years India has enhanced its launching and application capabilities, using space technology in virtually every sphere of life. "Space technology has entered in each and every Indian household", said the minister.

The decision entails that there shall be a level playing field for private companies in satellites, launches, and space-based services. The private sector will also be allowed to use the facilities of ISRO and other relevant assets to improve their capacities. "There will be a liberal geo-spatial data policy for providing remote-sensing data to tech-entrepreneurs", the government said.

© Sputnik

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