If not at rocket speed, the government should dramatically accelerate measures to activate India’s National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) – the regulator of private actors in the space sector – and have him work with people outside ISRO. , said space sector officials in the private and public sectors.
They said the government should come up with various sector policies so that private actors have clarity.
As part of the opening up of the space sector, the Indian government established IN-SPACe as an autonomous agency within the Department of Space (DOS).
The government also announced Pawan Kumar Goenka, former managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, as chairman of IN-SPACe.
IN-SPACe will be the regulator of private players in the space sector. It will also allow them to use the facilities of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
“IN-SPACe should certainly work faster and the same is expected of the agency. It is said that there are many proposals pending, without communication. This causes a delay in various deadlines and expectations from the private start-up. -ups, “a senior official at a space startup told IANS, preferring anonymity.
“Only with time will private entities know what exactly to expect from IN-SPACe, as entities establish collaborations,” added the official.
Another senior official at a private start-up told IANS: “What we expect is that our program should not be delayed due to regulatory hurdles. We are sure that IN-SPACe is set at the optimum possible speed.
Officials from the private-sector space industry have also said there should be a representative of the startup on the board of IN-SPACe.
Industry officials also told IANS that the government should create a grievance appeal forum similar to the telecommunications sector.
“Testing facilities for the private sector should be made available with the same priority as approved government missions. One stop shop without the need for approvals from other ministries and time-limited action by IN-SPACe”, they added as their expectations.
“The constitution of the board of directors of IN-SPACe has been approved and the creation of various directorates to support the activities of IN-SPACe is underway,” Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, recently told Parliament. to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Regarding the IN-SPACe workforce, there are many ISRO officials stationed there. IN-SPACe should bring in people from outside to give a broader perspective,” he told the ‘IANS a senior official in the government space sector, preferring anonymity.
According to sector officials, the roles and responsibilities of ISRO and IN-SPACe should be clearly defined.
On the political front, the government has released drafts of the Spacecom 2020 policy, the 2020 India remote sensing policy and the 2021 national geospatial policy.
The government is to present its revised foreign direct investment policy for the sector and also pass the draft law on space activities to Parliament.
“All policy proposals have been liberal and forward looking,” Pawan Kumar Chandana, CEO and CTO of Skyroot Aerospace, told IANS.
Skyroot Aerospace develops rockets for putting Earth observation satellites into orbit.
“The regulatory project looks quite promising in terms of facilitating market access and opening up space to private actors,” said Denil Chawda, co-founder and technical director of GalaxEye Space Solutions Pvt Ltd, which develops satellites.
Typically, data obtained from satellites passes through several regulatory agencies for various reasons. Right now, it is unclear what process to follow with the new policy in place, said Pranit Mehta, founding member and vice president of business development at GlaxaEye Space.
“Also, this would be the first time that private entities have owned and operated satellites, and sold data to the world. There are still several factors to consider, which might only come with time, as we go. as the Indian ecosystem grows and thrives, ”Mehta said.
Recognizing the need for separate policies for different aspects of the space sector, Mehta added, “Start-ups in this sector do not follow a conventional path. Various differentiators include time to market, capital requirements, end-to-end facilities. final development, space grade electronics and others. Policies specific to space start-ups will facilitate access to all kinds of resources, whether financial, mechanical or human. “
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])
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