Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the headquarters of the Indian Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) here, set up to promote private investment and innovation in the space sector. As in Information Technology, he hopes that Indian firms will emerge as leaders in the global space sector too, he said.
Earlier, the space sector was closed to private companies as ”they could only be vendors”, but his government opened it up by bringing in reforms, Modi said.
“Big ideas can only make big winners. We have removed all restrictions by bringing reforms in the space sector,” he said.
IN-SPACe will support private industry and begin the process of ”making winners in the space sector,” the prime minister further said.
“I am hopeful that like in the IT sector, our industry will also take the lead in the global space sector,” he said.
“Today on social media, if youths have to share something important, they will write `watch this space’. IN-SPACe has the potential to revolutionise the space industry. So I would say ‘watch this space’. IN-SPACe is for space, pace and creating ace in space industry,” Modi said.
The government is also working on a new space policy which will provide ease of doing business in the sector, he said.
”India’s space programme has been, in a way, the biggest identity of `Atmanirbhar Bharat’. When this programme gets the strength of the Indian private sector, you can imagine how much it will increase its strength,” the prime minister said.
In the past, the country’s youth did not get the opportunity to work in the space sector and it was our misfortune that ”the difference between regulation and restriction was forgotten,” he said.
”Indian youth carry with their innovation, energy and spirit…Their risk-taking capacity is also very high. These are vital for the development of any country…If any youth wants to innovate, can we say, this can only be done by government facilities?…. But in our country, this was the situation in many sectors,” the prime minister said.
”Our government is removing all restrictions before the Indian youth, it is carrying out reforms,” he said, listing the opening of defence production, drone policy, geo-spatial data guidelines and work-from-anywhere facility in the telecom/IT sector as examples.
The government is working on the New Indian Space Policy for increasing the coordination between government companies, the space industry, start-ups and institutions, the PM said.
”We are soon going to bring a policy to improve ease of doing business in the space sector,” he added.
”It is our endeavour to create the maximum ease of doing business environment for the private sector of India so that the private sector of the country helps the countrymen equally in the ease of living,” he added.
When the government started reforms in the space sector, some people raised doubts as to who will respond to it, but today there are more than 60 Indian private companies in the sector, Modi said.
The private sector has entered the sector by having its own launch vehicles, and satellites and some firms have even prepared designs for their own rockets, he said. The data collected by private space companies is going to give them huge power in future, Modi said, adding that the global space industry is valued at USD 400 billion and has the potential to become a USD 1 trillion industry by 2040.
”There are two areas which are going to be most influential in the coming days, they are space and sea,” Modi further said, adding that the country needs to move forward without delay in these areas.
The inauguration function also witnessed the signing of MoUs between IN-SPACe and private sector companies working in the field of space-based applications and services.
The government has launched IN-SPACe, an independent agency under the Department of Space, to promote private investment and innovation in the space sector. It will facilitate and support the private sector and help it participate in building satellites and launch-vehicles, carrying out launches, developing applications and providing space-based services.