The space Sector in India is emerging as a major foreign exchange earner through the launch of a large number of foreign satellites.
In an exclusive interview with SANSAD TV, Union Minister of State ( Independent Charge) Science and Technology,Dr Jitendra Singh informed that India has launched 385 foreign satellites so far, out of which 353 were launched in the last 8 years under this government, which is around 90 percent of all launches.
Dr Jitendra Singh also informed that out of total 220 million Euros earned by the launch of foreign satellites, 187 million Euros were generated in the last 8 years, which is around 85 percent of forex earned by launch of European Satellites.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, it’s a matter of great pride that ISRO through its commercial arms has successfully launched foreign satellites belonging to even advanced countries like and USA, France, Israel, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland on-board PSLV and GSLV-MkIII launchers under a commercial agreement.
In reply to a question on New Space Policy, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is in the final stages as the Department of Space is in the process of establishing a predictable, forward-looking, enabling regulatory regime for space activities in the country, through a comprehensive, well-defined policy for the entire gamut of such activities. He said, many steps had already been taken since June 2020 after the Unlocking of the Space Sector for private participation by the Modi Government. He said, the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) a Public Sector Enterprise under Department of Space, has been empowered to bring a commerce-oriented approach to space activities
Moreover, the creation of IN-SPACe as a single-window agency for the promotion and handholding of Non-Government Entities in conducting end-to-end space activities has resulted in a remarkable interest in the Start-up community, with 111 space-startups registered, as on date, on the IN-SPACe digital platform.\
It may be recalled that the result of such revolutionary reforms is the heaviest commercial launch by India in the form of LVM3, carrying 36 Oneweb satellites on 23rd October, 2022, followed by the pathbreaking and historic launch of India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket developed by M/s Skyroot Aerospace Private Limited, Hyderabad on 18thNovember, 2022 by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Dr Jitendra Singh said, over the last eight years, the Government has taken several steps and removed many roadblocks to strengthen space program and take it to greater heights. Significant progress has been made in the development and realization of space systems catering to earth observation, satellite communication and space science. Multiple successful flights of operational launch vehicles, along with the development, realisation and testing of major technology elements of future launch vehicles, was seen during this period.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, today Space Technology has entered virtually every household as Space Applications are increasingly used in fields like Agriculture, Soils, Water Resources, Land Use/Land Cover, Rural Development, Earth and Climate Studies, Geosciences, Urban & Infrastructure, Disaster Management Support, Forestry. He said, Space technology is also proving a boon to avert rail accidents as it forewarns about potential obstructing objects on rail path through high resolution images.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, taking a cue from PM Modi’s out-of-box approach, in 2016 ISRO held a brainstorming session with Line Ministries to understand their needs and provide applications and solutions to individual Departments/Ministries. He said, as a result of that visionary meeting, today, we are witnessing the widespread application of Space Technology in areas like Highways, Buildings and Smart Cities Projects also.
The Minister said, satellite imaging, remote sensing from Department of Space, Genetic and Agri yield technologies from Department of Biotechnology, Irradiation and preservation of shelf-life techniques from Department of Atomic Energy and food fortification research in CSIR labs will change the face of Agriculture in India along with Drones and Geospatial Data mapping.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, under the Modi Government's SVAMITVA scheme, geospatial technology along with liberalised Drone Policy to survey all the over 6 lakh Indian villages will prove to be a game changer.