The draft for the Indian Satellite Navigation Policy has now been hosted on the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for public consultation

India's satellite-based navigation and augmentation services sector is set to get to a trajectorial push owing to the Department of Space’s (DoS) plans to devise a "comprehensive and substantive" national policy. The DoS’ Indian Satellite Navigation Policy - 2021 (SATNAV Policy - 2021) is all set to change the country’s satellite-based navigation services for the better. With the newly proposed ignition of policy, the sector will move towards effective development, operation and maintenance of such systems

India's Satellite Navigation Systems To Get A Policy Push

The draft for the Indian Satellite Navigation Policy has now been hosted on the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for public consultation. Following the process, the SATNAV Policy will be placed before the Union Cabinet for final approval. The proposed policy push comes after the sector noted a phenomenal growth in applications that rely on Position, Velocity and Time (PVT) services provided by space-based navigation systems.

According to the draft, the SATNAV Policy seeks to "Achieve self-reliance in satellite-based navigation and augmentation services with an emphasis on assuring availability & quality, enhancing usage, working towards progressive evolution of the services and promoting research & development". With this, India will also push its chances of hosting one of the few space-based navigation systems that provide navigation signals across the globe, known as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

"Space-based navigation /augmentation system is essentially a public good which has to be accessible to all users. Such a national infrastructure can only be provided by the Government," the DoS had said. Currently, there are four GNSS namely GPS from the USA, GLONASS from Russia, Galileo from European Union and BeiDou from China, offering PVT solutions globally. Apart from these four mainstream GNSS, there are two regional systems which include QZSS from Japan and NavIC from India. The Government of India established the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) in 2013 with an aim to host a resilient and independent system totally under its control, unlike the globally used systems.

The policy will strengthen Government's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative, says DoS

Ensuring the continuity of NavIC and GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation (GAGAN) services is essential to India so as to strengthen Government's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative. Following the motto, the department looks to upgrade the system in light of the exponential technological advancements and also plans to continue having the capability to operate in conjunction with other GNSS/SBAS, the draft said. Yet another aim of the draft will be to promote Indian industry and academia to carry out research and development activities in the field of satellite navigation-based applications. The DoS, in the draft, also mentioned that there is a need to work towards facilitating global usage of Indian satellite navigation and augmentation systems.