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‘Govt nod to private players will transcend India into new space era’: ISRO chief

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan has welcomed the government’s decision to open up the space sector for private players.

“We are very excited with these reforms and confident that our innovative youth come forward to avail all the opportunities arising from these reforms. Several start-ups have already come forward and we are assured that India will emerge as a major hub for global space economy,” Sivan said at a digital press conference on Thursday.

“I invite whole-heartedly the private players to come forward and carry out the space activities and make India a global technology powerhouse,” he added.

The ISRO chief said that these reforms will transcend India into a new space era.

“If space sector is opened, potential of entire country can be utilised to scale up benefits from space technology. It’ll not only result in accelerated growth of sector but also enable Indian industry to be important player in global space economy,” said Sivan.

Clearing these reforms, the Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday also approved the formation of a new organisation, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), seeking to open up the space infrastructure to the private sector.

The government said that IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private sector companies to use Indian space infrastructure.

“IN-SPACe will have representatives from the industry, academia and government of India,” Sivan said today adding that ISRO will share technological expertise with the new organisation.

He said that IN-SPACe will take 3-6 months to become operational.

Sivan also said that these new reforms will not reduce the role of ISRO. “ISRO will continue to carry our space activities, including advance research and development, inter-planetary missions, human space flights and capacity building activities,” said Sivan.

The ISRO chief also said that the space body will help IN-SPACe in all its endeavours.

Several other important decisions were taken in the meeting on Wednesday including bringing hundreds of cooperative banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

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