Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her debut Budget speech on July 5, announced the launch of a new space company, Newspace India Limited (NSIL), as another commercial arm to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Delivering her budget speech, Sitharaman said, “India is now a major space power with the technology and ability to launch satellites and other space products at globally low cost. Time has come to harness this ability commercially.”
What is it aiming for?
Earlier, the ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had told IANS that the space agency wanted to give a big push in the production of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). With Newspace India Limited, the new commercial arm, ISRO will hopefully be able to produce them fast and commercialise its other technologies.
During her budget speech, Sitharaman said that the new company will tap the benefits of Research and Development (R&D) carried out by Indian Space Research Organisation.
“The company will spearhead the commercialisation of various space products including production of launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products”, she said.
As per the scheme of things, NSIL(Newspace India Limited) will obtain the licence from Department of Space/ISRO and sub-licence to industries for manufacturing of small rockets.
It will also be involved in marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad, and in any other subject which the government deems fit.
The budget allocation for the Department of Space for 2019-20 has gone up to Rs 12,473 from Rs 11,200 crore of the fiscal 2018-19.
With a slight rise in budget offering compared to last year’s, individual projects like Space Technology, Space Applications, Space Sciences and INSAT Satellite Systems were given a total budget of Rs 8407 crore, Rs 1885 crore, Rs 286 crore and Rs 884 crore respectively.
For India’s first human spaceflight mission or Gaganyaan, the Modi government-I has already funded Rs 10,000 crore for the project, which is due to be launched by 2022.
On July 15, ISRO is gearing up to launch Chandrayaan 2 mission- the second moon mission which cost the agency Rs 978 crore.