Tuesday 7 February 2023
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PoliticsIndiaAntrix CMD: Regulations, ecosystem needed for 'new space'

Antrix CMD: Regulations, ecosystem needed for ‘new space’

While some private players exist, the number of start-ups in the segment is still low, Rakesh Sasibhushan, chairman-cum-managing director, Antrix Corporation, said

New Delhi: Proper policy regulations, a separate regulator and an ecosystem that aids funding is the need of the hour for the growth of space startups, says Rakesh Sasibhushan, chairman-cum-managing director, Antrix Corporation. While some private players exist, the number of start-ups in the segment is still low considering the potential for business in India. This is due to uncertainties in regulations and investments, he said.

In an article published in a peer-reviewed journal Indian Defence Review, he said globally the space is worth $360 billion, and the industry has emerged in many parts of the world with favourable policies being implemented in those countries. India’s programme is a low-budgeted one with little room for the industries to grow.

The Antrix chairman-cum-managing director said that the regulatory framework was probably one of the biggest issues for -related private and companies in the country.

The proposed Activities Bill is one step towards bringing in more clarity on the regulatory side of the space business and might encourage more venture capital firms to look into the sector for potential investments.

Besides, there is also a need for a regulatory agency, different from the Department of Space, as there could be a conflict of interest considering that these companies are also service providers to the department. He cited the example of the formation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 1997 while Department of Telecom remained as a service provider.

Another hindrance is the lack of technology for them to design, manufacture and sub-systems and components to the systems. He suggests transferring the technology process from ISRO. Antrix Corporation has already started the transfer of technology process for small satellite technology, in order to enable the to design and supply technology.

For start-ups, the issue has been the availability of funds and so far, there is no government funding to support these companies exclusively.

“India has got all the essential ingredients to become a major player in the commercial market. However, we need to develop the eco-system by introducing the right policies and incentives. With the emergence of New Space in India, companies are looking forward to the Government for de-regulation and opening up of the sector. Days are not far for India to emerges as the New Space hub of the world,” he said in the journal.

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