The combination of space technology and telecommunications will propel the reach of digital services to remote locations across the country and contribute to inclusive development, Communications and Computing Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Monday.
Affirming that the government is fully committed to reforms and ensuring healthy competition in the sector, the minister urged the industry to study global best practices and come up with suggestions to help shape enabling policy.
“It is very evident that space and telecommunications combined can help us reach areas that are traditionally not accessible… like forest areas, tribal areas that are in very remote places…… Many of these sections where conventional methods could not accept digital services, hopefully with space technologies we can reach those areas, ”he said.
The combined power of space technology and telecommunications would also contribute “significantly” to inclusive development, the minister said at an event marking the launch of the Indian Space Association.
Space and telecommunications are organically connected sectors, especially when it comes to spectrum management, he said. Calling it a “complex subject,” the minister urged industry leaders to study global best practices on the subject and come up with benchmarks that India can adopt.
“We are an open-minded government. We want to reform this sector and provide a level playing field for everyone. We want there to be healthy competition in this sector. So please come up with some recommendations that will help us formulate policy in that direction, ”Vaishnaw added.
India must increase tracking capabilities across geographies and protection of space assets: NSA
India needs to increase its native commercially available satellite communications solutions, tracking capabilities across geographies and the protection of space assets, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Monday.
He was speaking at the launch ceremony of the Indian Space Association, a space industry body made up of companies such as Bharti Airtel, Larsen and Toubro, Agnikul, Dhruva Space and Kawa Space.
“Economic growth and technological development are the most important ingredients of national power. In such an environment, national governments can no longer be the sole actors in the evolution of national security and development policies, ”he said.
The private sector is an equal stakeholder in nation building, Doval added.
“Until now, exclusive areas such as space which were dominated by the public sector must therefore be opened up to the private sector to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve,” the national security adviser said (NSA ).
Doval said: “Private investments in the space sector will generate high-tech jobs, facilitate technology absorption, and secure the participation of foreign partners through joint ventures.”
These measures will make India a hub for manufacturing space assets, he said. Doval said a strong private sector industry will also help address growing security challenges.
“India needs to focus on increasing capacity in several areas such as … commercially available indigenous satellite communication solutions, futuristic technology research and development, tracking capabilities across geographies and protecting space assets, ”said Doval.
Creating an appropriate regulatory environment to deal with safety, security and legal liability issues will be at the heart of this effort, he said. The NSA said rapid progress has been made by the private sector in developing niche technologies.
“A lot of these technologies are dual-use. They have revolutionized activities in several areas, including navigation, remote sensing, weather monitoring, agriculture, satellite communications and high-speed Internet, ”he said.
By some estimates, the global space industry is set to grow exponentially, the NSA said. “With the right policies and regulations, the Indian private sector can become a co-traveler of India’s space travel,” he said.
The excellent work done by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to develop an ecosystem of high quality suppliers provides India with a solid foundation on which to step up private sector involvement in space, noted the NSA.
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