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Indian Space Association

  Jun 26, 2023

Indian Space Association

Q What is Indian Space Association (ISpA) ?

  • The ISpA is a premier industry association of space and satellite companies, which aspires to be the collective voice of the Indian space industry.
  • It will be headed by retired Lieutenant General AK Bhatt, who will be its Director General.
  • It will target to undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian space domain. It will engage with the government and all its agencies.


Q Why is the formation of ISpA significant?

  • Million-dollar industry: Governments across the world have poured millions of dollars to push the envelope in term of exploring the edges of the space.
  • Collaborated research: With time, governments and government agencies collaborated to explore newer planets and galaxies in search of life forms that exist outside Earth.
  • Private players involvement: In the recent past, private sector companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin have taken the lead in spaceflight.
  • Easing workload on ISRO: Though India too has made significant strides in space exploration over time, state-run ISRO has been at the centre and front of this progress.


Q What does ISpA aim to achieve?

  • Supplementing space research: One of the main goals of the organisation is to supplement the government’s efforts towards making India a global leader in commercial space-based excursions.
  • Commercial space exploration: ISpA said it would engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework which fulfills the government vision of leading commercial space exploration.
  • Establishing global linkages: ISpA will also work towards building global linkages for the Indian space industry to bring in critical technology and investments into the country to create more high skill jobs.


Q Who are the stakeholders in this organisation and  How will they contribute?

  • ISpA will be represented by leading domestic and global corporations that have advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies.
  • It has taken off with several Indian and international companies betting on it as the next frontier to provide high-speed and affordable Internet connectivity to inaccessible areas as well.
  • This includes SpaceX’s StarLink, Sunil Bharti Mittal’s OneWeb, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, US satellite maker Hughes Communications, etc.
  • OneWeb, for example, is building its initial constellation of 648 low-earth orbit satellites and has already put 322 satellites into orbit.


Q Why is satellite-based Internet important in India?

  • The expansion of the Internet in India is crucial to the Modi government’s dream of a digital India where a majority of government services are delivered directly to the customer.
  • The government aims to connect all villages and gram panchayats with high-speed Internet over the next 1000 days through BharatNet.
  • However, internet connectivity in hilly areas and far-flung places of Northeast India are still a challenge.
  • To overcome this, industry experts suggest that satellite Internet will be essential for broadband inclusion in remote areas and sparsely populated locations where terrestrial networks have not reached.
  • Satellite communications remain limited to use by corporates and institutions that use it for emergency use, critical trans-continental communications and for connecting to remote areas with no connectivity.