The government will allow private firms and startups to use the infrastructure and facilities of India’s space agency to build satellites and rockets, besides formalising a national geospatial policy to allow local entreprenuers to use remote sensing data of the country’s satellites and build applications for areas such as agriculture.
“Private sector is doing a lot of work in the space area… To provide a level playing field for pvt cos, will make a provision for them to benefit from ISRO’s assets,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday. “We will provide predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players”.
Indian Space Research Organisation has over a dozen facilities that designs and develops communication and earth observation satellites and rockets that can carry upto six tonnes of payload into space. It has planned over sixty missions over the next five years, which includes sending a man to space, attempt a moon landing second time, besides deep space missions to mars and venus.
Sitharaman said that the government has liberalised policies to allow startups and private businesses to participate in Isro’s deep space missions.
She said that a liberal geospatial data policy will be announced by the government that will allow tech entrepreneuers to tap Indian remote sensing satellite data to build applications for areas such as agriculture. Currently, most of them are “paying through their nose” to get these data from foreign companies
“We want to help Indian startups that are doing pioneering work,” Sitharaman said. A national Geospatial policy has been in the works since 2015.