• The government is likely to introduce the Space Activities Bill, 2017, which will allow commercial use of space, in the budget session of 2019.
Features of Space activities bill 2017
• It is a proposed Bill to promote and regulate the space activities of India.
• The new Bill encourages the participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India under the guidance and authorisation of the government through the Department of Space.
• The provisions of this Act shall apply to every citizen of India and to all sectors engaged in any space activity in India or outside India.
• A non-transferable licence shall be provided by the Central Government to any person carrying out commercial space activity.
• The Central Government will formulate the appropriate mechanism for licensing, eligibility criteria, and fees for the licence.
• The government will maintain a register of all space objects (any object launched or intended to be launched around the earth) and develop more space activity plans for the country.
• It will provide professional and technical support for commercial space activity and regulate the procedures for conduct and operation of space activity.
• It will ensure safety requirements and supervise the conduct of every space activity of India and investigate any incident or accident in connection with the operation of space activity.
• It will share details about the pricing of products created by space activity and technology with any person or any agency in a prescribed manner.
• If any person undertakes any commercial space activity without authorisation they shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or fined more than ₹1 crore or both.
Why there is a need for legislation on outer space
• There is a need for national space legislation for supporting the overall growth of the space activities in India.
• This would encourage enhanced participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India, in compliance with international treaty obligations, which is becoming very relevant today.
Mains Paper 3: Governance| Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
Prelims level: Space Activities Bill 2017
Mains level: Regulating private space activities in India