ISRO and IN-SPACe; This is how the new body will guide private players in Space industry

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July 31, 2020 1:27 PM

According to the information shared on the website of ISRO, Department of Space, the IN-SPACe will consist of four directorates namely- Technical, Legal, Safety & Security, Monitoring & Promotion- which will carry on the functions and mandate assigned to the organisation.

It will also oversee the sharing of the ISRO assets by the private players with due consideration to the present and ongoing projects of the ISRO.It will also oversee the sharing of the ISRO assets by the private players with due consideration to the present and ongoing projects of the ISRO.

Taking an opportunity to unlock the potential of private enterprises in the Indian Space industry, the Modi government decided to allow private players to use the assets of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and formed an autonomous body Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) under the Department of Space to facilitate the same in June this year. Let’s look at how the Department of Space has envisaged to use IN-SPACe in its motive to ensure participation of enterprising private companies into the Indian Space sector.

Roles and Responsibilities of IN-SPACe
IN-SPACe will be established as a single window nodal agency which will oversee and permit the activities of the private companies into the space sector. Activities which will be permitted include building of space launch vehicles, satellites and providing other space based services. It will also oversee the sharing of the ISRO assets by the private players with due consideration to the present and ongoing projects of the ISRO.

In order to facilitate the entry of the private players in the space domain, the IN-SPACe will also handhold and guide the private players on the issue of technology, promotion and expertise. This will help the private players to get a foothold in the space sector. As far as sharing the technology and assets of the ISRO is concerned, the IN-SPACe will allow the private players to use some facilities free of cost while for some other facilities the private players will be charged reasonably. They will also be allowed to establish their own facilities within the premises of ISRO based on the safety norms and other standards. The government has also made it clear that the decision of the IN-SPACe will be definite and final with regard to the participation of private industries and no direct permission will be allowed to be sought from ISRO by the private players.

Structure of IN-SPACe
The newly formed body will have its own cadre of officials which will be responsible for running day to day operations of the newly formed body. According to the information shared on the website of ISRO, Department of Space, the IN-SPACe will consist of four directorates namely- Technical, Legal, Safety & Security, Monitoring & Promotion- which will carry on the functions and mandate assigned to the organisation. The body will be headed by the Chairman and have technical experts, members from academia/industry and other members from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of External Affairs.

How will Private players seek permission from IN-SPACe?
Applications by interested private players will be allowed to be filed in both offline and online mode. The application submitted by any private firm will first be vetted by the Legal Directorate, Technical Directorate and Safety and Security Directorate. After getting the go ahead from the three directorates, a final review will be done by the IN-SPACe after which permission will be granted to the private players. All the activities conducted by the private players will be under close monitoring and supervision of the Directorate of Monitoring of IN-SPACe.

Similarly, the private players will be allowed to seek access to use the facilities of ISRO. After the approval from IN-SPACe, a facility in-charge will be given the responsibility to facilitate the usage of the facility by the private players. The whole activity will again be under complete and continuous monitoring by the Directorate of Monitoring, IN-SPACe. A similar procedure has also been devised to allow private players to establish their own facilities on the premises of the Department of Space (DOS). After the allocation of the location to the private players, a concerned DOS centre will collaborate with the private players till the time of the completion of the facility. The Directorate of Monitoring will keep an eye on the whole process and give its feedback to the IN-SPACe.

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