Private sector can put Indian space mission into higher orbit. But ISRO must take it onboard

With the announcement of IN-SPACe, the Narendra Modi government has opened the space sector for private participation in a big way. The Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K. Sivan Thursday welcomed the structural reforms in India’s space ecosystem. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last month hinted at giving private firms access to ISRO’s facilities as part of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat special economic package.

Sivan informed that an autonomous body IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) would be established under the Department of Space (DoS) for permitting and regulating activities of the private space sector. This nodal entity would have its own independent directorates for technical, legal, safety and security, monitoring as well as activities promotion for assessing the private industry requirements and further coordinating the activities.

At theTakshashila Institution, we had argued about the need for an independent space regulator and drafted a space bill. An independent regulator such as IN-SPACe would pave the way for regulatory clarity, and reduce arbitrariness and discretion in the governance process.

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