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‘Watch This Space’

On June 10, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated headquarters of IN-SPACe at Bopal, Ahmedabad. The new Indian space policy to come out soon.

Issue: 06-2022By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By PIB
Prime Minister Modi at the inauguration of the headquarters of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) at Bopal, Ahmedabad

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the headquarters of the IN-SPACe at Bopal, Ahmedabad on June 10, 2022. The programme also witnessed the exchange of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) and private sector companies working in the field of space-based applications and services. About 10 MoUs were signed with different space start-ups. The inauguration of IN-SPACe’s headquarters ensures the promotion and enabling of private entities in the space sector that will open up new vistas of opportunity for India’s talented youth. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendrabhai Patel, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr S. Somanath, former ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan and representatives of the space industry were among those present on the occasion.

IN-SPACe is an independent nodal agency under Department of Space (DOS) for allowing space activities and usage of DOS owned facilities by Non-Government Private Entities (NGPEs) as well as to prioritise the launch manifest. The establishment of this autonomous nodal agency as a separate vertical for permitting and regulating the activities of private industry in space sector was announced in 2020 along with the private reforms. “INSPACe will have its own independent Directorates for Technical, Legal, Safety & Security, Monitoring as well as Activities Promotion for assessing the private industry requirements and further coordinating the activities,” the then ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan had informed. About two years ago, on June 24, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) had approved far reaching reforms in the Space sector aimed at boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.


Addressing the gathering during the inauguration, the Prime Minister said that a wonderful chapter has been added in the development journey of modern India in the 21st century and congratulated all the countrymen, and the scientific community for the headquarters of the IN-SPACe. The Prime Minister termed the launch of IN-SPACe as a ‘watch this space’ moment for the Indian space industry as it is a precursor to many developments and opportunities. He said “IN-SPACe will give an opportunity to the youth of India to showcase their talent to the best minds of India. Whether they are working in the government or in the private sector, IN-SPACe will create great opportunities for all.” The Prime Minister further elaborated “IN-SPACe has the potential to revolutionise India’s space industry. IN-SPACe is for space, IN-SPACe is for pace, and IN-SPACe is for ace,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that by reforming the space sector, freeing it from all restrictions, by supporting the private industry through IN-SPACe, the country is starting a campaign to make winners today. The private sector will not just remain a vendor but will play the role of a big winner in the space sector. When the strength of government space institutions will combine with the passion of India’s private sector, even the sky will not be the limit, he added.

“The global space industry is valued at $400 billion and has a potential to become a $1 trillion industry by 2040. India needs to increase its share in the global space industry and the private sector will play a big role in that.”
—Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Focusing on the energy of the youth, the PM highlighted that Indian youth bring innovation, energy and a spirit of exploration with them. “Today we cannot put the condition of only the government route for carrying out their plans before our youth. I am happy that more than 60 private companies are leading in the country’s space sectors with advanced preparation.” He singled out ISRO for bringing out this momentous change in the space sector of the country. He reiterated the importance of the step of opening up the space sector and credited the expertise and determination of ISRO for this initiative. India’s space programme has been the biggest identity of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, he said. Ever since the nation started taking its first steps more than half a century ago, the space agency has sustained on selfreliance through the various missions & endeavours it undertook. This has made ISRO stand out and be among the best of the space-faring nations in the world.

The Prime Minister remarked “whether one is a scientist or a farmer-labourer, understands the techniques of science or does not understand, transcending all that, our space mission becomes the mission of all the people of the country. We saw this emotional solidarity of India during Mission Chandrayaan.”


In the current age, we cannot imagine a day without the internet and this is one major example of how dependent we are on space technology. Expanding on this, he also remarked the importance of space technology in our day-to-day life. “Space-tech is about to become the basis of a major revolution in the 21st century. Spacetech is now going to become a technology not only of distant space but of our personal space”, the Prime Minister pointed out. He said that IN-SPACe needs to work continuously for making the gains of space technology accessible to the people of the country. Data collected by the private space companies is going to give them huge power in future. The private sector must be heard and understood and business possibilities should be analysed properly, for this, the Prime Minister said, a strong mechanism has been put in place. IN-SPACe will act as a single window, independent nodal agency to take care of all the needs of the private sector.

“The global space industry is valued at $400 billion and has a potential to become a $1 trillion industry by 2040. India needs to increase its share in the global space industry and the private sector will play a big role in that,” he emphasised. The Prime Minister also saw a strong role for India in the fields of space tourism and space diplomacy. He stressed that there are infinite possibilities in our country but infinite possibilities can never be realised with limited efforts. This process of reforms in the space sector will continue uninterruptedly, he assured.

The PM highlighted two areas that will be crucial for the future of humanity and its development. Space and Sea are going to be the most influential in the coming days, he said, and India needs to move forward without delay in these areas. “There is a need to increase awareness about the strides and reforms by India in this field.” Atal Tinkering Labs in schools are playing a role in this but more needs to be done by the educational institutions in order to inform young students about the limitless possibilities of this sector and channelise their curiosity.

The establishment of IN-SPACe is for promotion, encouragement, and regulation of space activities of both government and private entities, and also for the facilitation of the usage of ISRO facilities by private entities. This is a momentous deal for the private companies to work in collaboration with ISRO and have its facilities for the usage. This also accelerates the possibilities, and would increase the frequency of space missions as well as the opportunities in the space sector. A big example of this is the United States where the government space agency, NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) has been able to do more ever since it started collaborating with private players like SpaceX.

India is also working on a New Indian Space Policy for coordinating between government companies, space industries, startups and institutions. “We are soon going to bring a policy to improve ease of doing business in the space sector,” the Prime Minister informed. The Space Activities Bill that aims at regulation and promotion of private players in space sector, is under active consideration as well by the government. Since privatisation of the industry was initiated, the Government of India is consistently bringing in new sector policies and guidelines while also revising existing policies. The space sector reforms are a way to expand the national space economy, generate more employment opportunities and create better manufacturing facilities for the industry. The private sector including academic institutions, start-ups and industries can benefit from these reforms.

From railways to roads and bridges, medical management/telemedicine, to procurement of timely utilisation certificates, disaster forecast and management, earth and climate studies to geosciences, urban & infrastructure to forestry and ecology etc space technology is being applied widespread comes as a necessary boost.