NEW DELHI: The Indian space industry is on the cusp of dramatic transformation. Until now restricted to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the push is for ensuring a larger role for the private sector in the manner in which it is playing out internationally. Driving this change is ISpA, the Indian Space Association, an industry body set up a few months ago.
In this conversation on The Gist, Lt. Gen. Anil Kumar Bhatt, Director-General of ISpA, said that there are around 30 Indian private firms that are in the space business, focused on different aspects. Some are designing and building satellites, others are developing next-generation rocket engines using 3-D printing technology and so on. ISRO is transferring key technologies to these firms but the hope and expectation is these firms will become technology incubators, innovators and developers in time. ISRO’s role will inevitably re-focus, with the emphasis on exploration, manned missions etc.
Gen. Bhatt confirmed that the government sees the space industry as strategic, so there is a military component that will draw in the three branches of the armed forces. This would also involve recruiting and training military personnel for these specialised tasks. Tune in for more in this conversation with Gen. Anil Bhatt, head of ISpA.