The global Space economy is $447 billion and India’s share is less than 2%. Officials say that private sector can drive growth

Top officials of India’s space agency and those from the space sector have said that ISRO’s PSLV rocket will soon be made in an end-to-end manner by Indian industry and that other Indian rockets will also follow the same path. However, a stark revelation was on how India’s share of the $447bn space economy is only around 2percent. With India having brought in reforms in the space sector in 2020, the contribution and participation of the private sector are expected to increase.

Speaking at the Inaugural session of the ‘Building NewSpace in India’ International Space Conference and Exhibition, Dr D Radhakrishnan, CMD, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), pointed out how the Government-owned NSIL would take up space missions on a demand model, as opposed to the earlier supply model. He also added that the commercial viability of every mission would be established beforehand. In a major boost for the Indian private sector, he said that India’s workhorse rocket, the PSLV would be realized(fabricated) end-to-end by Indian industry and that other rockets also were to be fabricated fully by industry.

Mr R Umamaheshwaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO and In-charge (IN-Space Activities) said that despite the pandemic, 2020 was a landmark year for the Indian space sector owing to the reforms. “Our Satcom (satellite communication) and remote-sensing policy are in their final stages, the draft policy for space transportation is also in the works” he added.

Hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry with the Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) and their affiliates, the three-day virtual Conference will have 8 sessions with over 65 speakers from ISRO, industry and Global Space Agencies focused on specific themes – addressing opportunities for industries, Trends in Satcom, Business models, start-up growth drivers etc. The Conference also has a session dedicated to start-ups.

Expressing optimism on the scope for private industry in India’s space activities, Mr Rakesh Sasibhushan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Space; and CMD, Antrix Corporation pointed out that, despite the pandemic disruption, the global space sector grew by over 4% to reach $447bn in the year 2020. He added that despite India’s wide-ranging capabilities and activities in space, the country had only captured less than 2% of this huge market. However, he expressed hope regarding the coming times when the private sector could participate in toto in space activities and help the country reap the benefits.