ISpA to make India an economic space hub: Director General
India has a scientific space legacy of 50 to 60 years and with the launch of new industry body, Indian Space Association (ISpA), the country can become an economic space hub in the future, says its Director General Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt (retd).
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a virtual event, ISpA is the premier industry association of space and satellite companies and aspires to be the voice of India's space sector.
"With the launch of ISpA, our aim is to meet the nation's vision of becoming an economic space hub in the future," Bhatt said in an interview to IANS.
"We have the advantages of a scientific space legacy of 50 to 60 years, which has been provided by ISRO (the Indian Space Research Organisation), and we have got the technical manpower," he added.
The industry body will undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian space domain, including the government and its agencies including the government and all its other agencies, NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), among others.
Bhatt said that another important thing they need is the financial capacity.
"I'm sure, with space opening up and the space providing opportunity for economic returns, the finances will also come," he said.
When combined, the country will have mega projects in the future, akin to several global private space organisations like Elon Musk-owned SpaceX and Jeff Bezos-run Blue Origin.
However, for all this to happen, ISpA aims to bring everyone together, bridging the gap between government and private players, and to ensure proper regulations, he said.
"ISpA will become a common platform for the industry to talk mutually to collaborate. We see ourselves being the collective voice of all, all members of our association, to be able to ensure that light touch regulatory policies come up," Bhatt noted.
ISpA will aid the government in making new regulations for the space industry in the country.
Bhatt said that one single industry may not be able to do everything, for example, some will have capacities in launch vehicles, the other will have sensors. But ISpA will step in to "provide a platform for all to meet together and develop whatever they wish".
The industry body also aims to integrate its members with international bodies and industries, and will ensure ease of doing business in India.
It also aims to bolster space education in the country, which is scarce apart from a few institutes and some IITs.
ISpA will aid in development of future capacities in India, by creating space hubs in universities and building space parks in various states, Bhatt said.
"We want to spread space education and ensure that incubators and places where space sciences are taught, and various components of it, grow all over the country. In fact, we have to be elite players 10 years from now, this is a very important subject we'll have to look into," Bhatt told IANS.
ISpA is represented by leading home-grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies. Its founding members include Bharti Airtel, Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Alpha Design Technologies. Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Ananth Technology Limited, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL, Centum Electronics, and Maxar India - IANS
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