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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

The Budget Estimates for Department of Space for FY 2019-20 is Rs 12,473.26 crore as compared to the RE of Rs 11,200 crore in FY 2018-19. Presenting the General Budget 2019-20 in the Parliament today, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman said that a Public Sector Enterprise viz. New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated as a new commercial arm of Department of Space to tap the benefits of the Research & Development carried out by ISRO. The Company will spearhead commercialization of various space products including production of launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products. The Minister said that, “India has emerged as a major space power with the technology and ability to launch satellites and other space products at globally low cost. Time has come to harness this ability commercially”.

Despite its limited resources, India has and is continuing to develop a broad-based space program with indigenous launch vehicles, satellites, control facilities, and data processing. Since its first satellite was orbited by the USSR in 1975 and its first domestic space launch was conducted in 1980, India has become a true space-faring nation and an example to other Eurasian countries wishing to move into the space age. Today's Indian remote sensing, communications, and meteorological satellites are comparable to many similar space systems operated by more affluent countries, and by the end of the decade India may be one of only a half dozen countries/organizations with a geostationary launch capability.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was established in 1969 and is currently under the Department of Space. The Chairman of ISRO since 1984, Prof. U. R. Rao, stepped down and was replaced in April, 1994 by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, who also carried the titles Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission. With headquarters at Bangalore, ISRO boasted a workforce of approximately 17,000 (References 25-27).

The corporate headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is located in Bangalore, but, activities related to satellites, launch vehicles, and applications are carried out at numerous centers throughout the country. The development of the sensors and payloads is the responsibility of ISRO's Satellite Application Center (SAC) in Ahmedabad. ISRO Satellite Center (ISAC) in Bangalore is responsible for the design, development, assembly, and testing of satellites. Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), at Tiruvananthapuram, is responsible for launch vehicles. Liquid propulsion modules, including cryogenic engines, are developed at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center located near Tiruvananthapuram. Satellite launching takes place from Sriharikota, north of Madras, referred to as SHAR. Hassan, near Bangalore, is where the Master Control facilities for satellite station keeping are located. The reception and processing facilities for remote sensing data are available at National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), in Hyderabad.

The annual ISRO space budget period runs from 1 April to the following 31 March. From the 1993-1994 budget year, appropriations increased by about 12% to nearly 8 billion Rupees (compared with approximately 5 billion Rupees for 1992-1993) with an even sharper increase forecast for the following year. Slightly more than 40% of the annual outlays are designated for launch vehicle development and operations. A separate government allotment is given to the Antrix Corporation which is not yet self-sufficient.

India’s space budget for FY 2011 is 57.78 billion Rupees (US $1.26 billion) making it the 6th in the world, which accounts for about 0.14 percent of GDP. Almost half of the budget is focused on development and operation of launch vehicles and related activities. The remaining is devoted to space technology and applications, satellite operations and satellite communications.

ISRO’s successes are backed by the strong and continued political support from the Indian Government and a high-caliber technical workforce 40% of whom are doctorates, post-graduates and graduates. As per annual report 2008-09, the total approved strength of department is on April 1, 2009 is 17,681 out of which 12,231 are in scientific categories and 5,468 in administrative categories. About 19% of personnel in the Department were women.

In May 1992 the U.S. Department of State imposed trade sanctions against ISRO, based on its missile proliferation activities. In part, these sanctions prohibited ISRO from receiving U.S. exports for which a validated export license or reexport authorization was required for a two year period.


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