India has to augment its commercially available indigenous satellite communication solutions, tracking capabilities across geographies and protection of space assets, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Monday.
PM Modi Monday launched a premier industry association of space and satellite companies. Indian Space Association will undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian space domain. It is represented by leading homegrown and global corporations with advanced space and satellite technologies capabilities such as Larson & Toubro, Nelco (TATA Group), OneWeb, Bharti Airtel Mapmyindia and others.
He was speaking at the launch ceremony of the Indian Space Association, a space sector industry body comprising companies such as, Larsen and Toubro, Agnikul, Dhruva Space and Kawa Space.
“Economic growth and technology development are the most important ingredients of national power. In such an environment, the national governments can no longer be the only stakeholders in evolving policies for national security and development,” he said.
The private sector is an equal stakeholder in nation-building, Doval added.
“Hitherto, exclusive domains such as space that were dominated by the public sector, therefore, need to be opened up to the private sector to ensure that we remain ahead of the curve,” the national security advisor (NSA) said.
Doval said, “Private investments in the space sector will generate high tech jobs, facilitate technology absorption, and ensure involvement of foreign partners through joint ventures.”
These steps will make India a manufacturing hub of space assets, he said
Doval said that a strong private sector industry will also contribute to meeting growing security challenges.
“India needs to focus on augmenting capacities in several areas such as…commercially available indigenous satellite communication solutions, research and development into futuristic technologies, tracking capabilities across geographies and protection of space assets,” Doval said.
Creating an appropriate regulatory environment to address safety, security and legal liability issues will be central to this effort, he said.
The NSA said rapid strides have been made by the private sector in development of niche technologies.
“Many of these technologies are dual use. They have revolutionised activities in several areas including navigation, remote sensing, weather monitoring, agriculture, satellite communication and broadband internet,” he said.
According to some estimates, the global space industry is poised to grow exponentially, the NSA said.
“With appropriate policy and regulations, the Indian private sector can become a co-traveller on India’s space journey,” he mentioned.
The excellent work done by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop an ecosystem of high quality suppliers provides India a solid base on which to upscale the involvement of private sector in space domain, the NSA noted.