[Editorial Analysis] Draft Spacecom policy and India’s Space sector

Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Draft Spacecom policy
Mains level: Awareness in science and technology, space sector

Context:

• As the Union government gave its nod to bring reforms in the space sector by allowing private players participation, ISRO has released Draft of New Space Based Communication (Spacecom) Policy of India, 2020.

Salient features of the policy:

• There was a Spacecom policy in the past especially for communication satellites.

• The main limitation of the past policy was non-involvement of private players in the space sector.

• Previously, private players were only considered as vendors of services.

• The current Spacecom policy aims at reforming all the spheres and there will be no restriction for the private players and they will be able to carry out all the space activities on their own will.

• The policy will regulate the commercial use of satellites, orbital slots and ground stations for communication needs.

• ISRO has always provided handholding for the private sector as there is excellent responsibility on the startups to boost the private sector engagement.

• Space being a strategic sector it is important to safeguard its activities for which the Space Activities Bill and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) mechanism are being implemented.

• The private players in the space communication sector will also enable India to keep pace with growing demand for satellite based broadcasting, network connectivity and global mobile personal communication.

• Thus, the entire gamut of the country’s expertise will be contributing to the space sector in the upcoming future.

What are the potential areas for Private Sector?

• Space is around 360 billion dollars economy out of which 48% is for ground system and installation whereas 45% is for applications.

• The private players can grab the entire spending for commercial basis by contributing towards the ground system and installation.

• Private players can work on operational and commercial satellites by providing services.

• May engage in technology development.

• Can work for space communication which has maximum contribution to the space sector.

Challenges:

• Technology can be misused if proper law is not in place.

• Accountability for the specific activities might be a major concern.

• Infrastructure technicalities. Cooperation in fields along with international space agencies

1. NASA Advanced up gradation of satellites

2. Russian space agency (ROSCOSMOS)

3. Training Indian astronauts

4. Japan space agency (JAXA) – For the upcoming moon mission

5. Israel space agency (ISA) – For developing small satellites.

Conclusion:

• The potential of private players is very high for technology development and it can be utilised for upcoming projects.

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Central Information Commission, consider the following statements:

1. The Central Information Commission shall consist of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and such numbers of Central Information Commissioners (ICs), not exceeding five, as may be deemed necessary.

2. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

Subscribe to Get Weekly updates

Get daily current affair video, detailed current affairs PPT for quick revision and Free One Liner PDF directly in your inbox. Subscribe now to get this month's one liner for FREE.