Centre is planning to invite private players as "co-travellers" in India's space sector. Announcing the fourth tranche of measures under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat economic stimulus package on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that predictable policy and regulatory environment will be provided to individuals and start-ups who have been working with space-related technologies.
"ISRO has brought the nation a lot of laurels. However, today private sector is also doing a lot of work in the space arena. A lot of individuals and start-ups have spent a lot of time developing space-related technologies. Unfortunately, because of the Indian regulations, they're unable to use ISRO's available facilities for even testing their products. What we want to do now, in order to provide level playing field for private companies in satellites, launches and space-based services, we will make a provision for them to benefit from the assets which are available with the ISRO," said the Finance Minister.
"We will also provide predictable policy and regulatory environment for private players. We want them to be co-travellers with us, and therefore, private sector is being encouraged. Future projects for planetary explorations and outer space travel will also be open for private sector," she further added.
FM Sitharaman further said that start-ups will be provided geo-spatial data related to India domestically, for which they now have to look up to foreign sources and pay exorbitant prices.
"There is a lot of geo-spatial data for Indians, particularly like start-ups which are looking at doing a lot of irrigation work, drought-prone area development work, groundwater work. They don't most often get the data within India. They go get it from abroad, paying through their nose, for some good work that they do for India itself. A liberal geo-spatial data policy is something which we will like to work on. We will like to provide remote sensing data to tech entrepreneurs, of course with a lot of sense of caution because this is a very sensitive area," FM Sitharaman said.