Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 October launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA) via video-conferencing. He interacted with representatives of the space industry on the occasion.
Prime Minister Modi said ISpA would act as a single-window and independent agency on matters related to space technology.
Modi laid out what he described as “four pillars” of space technology:
- freedom for innovation in the private sector
- a government that plays the role of an enabler and not the handler
- preparing youngsters for the future and
- treating the space sector as a resource for the progress of ordinary citizens
“This is the time for exponential, and not linear, innovation. This is possible only when the government plays the role of an enabler, and not the handler. Today, the government is sharing its expertise and providing launch pads for the private sector. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is being opened for the private sector,” he said.
He emphasised how the space sector earlier used to be synonymous with the ruling dispensation, adding that it was his government that changed this mindset. “We introduced innovation to this field. We also gave the mantra of cooperation between the union government and start-ups,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi noted that ISpA’s launch was taking place on a day when the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child. Recalling the celebrations of women scientists involved with India’s Mars mission, he said he was hopeful that reforms in the space sector would encourage more women participation.
ISpA is a private industry body to help boost space technology in India. The founding members of ISpA include OneWeb, Bharti Airtel, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Ananth Technology Limited among others. ISpA will participate and work with ISRO and others on the issue of policy around space technology and domain. It will focus on capacity building and space economic hubs and incubators in India.