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200-Fold Surge in Space Startups Driven by Government Policies, Says Dr. Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, and other key portfolios, announced a remarkable 200-fold increase in space startups over the past two years. Speaking at a high-level meeting to review the 100-day Action Plan of the Department of Space, Dr. Singh attributed this significant growth to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s transformative policy decisions aimed at opening up the space sector to private enterprises.

Public-Private Partnership Driving Growth

Dr. Singh emphasized that this unprecedented surge in space startups, from just one in 2022 to nearly 200 in 2024, is a direct result of the government’s push for public-private participation in the space sector. “This quantum jump has been possible because of a major policy decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open up the space sector to the private sector and allow public-private participation in a big way,” he said.

Investment and Industry Expansion

The meeting, attended by ISRO Chairman S. Somanath and senior officials, highlighted the substantial investments pouring into India’s space sector. In 2023 alone, approximately INR 1000 crore was invested within just eight months. The sector also supports around 450 MSMEs, reflecting the Prime Minister’s vision of “Sabka Prayas” during the Amrit Kaal period.

Future Projections

Dr. Singh projected a significant increase in India’s share of the global space economy. From contributing 2% in 2021, India’s space industry is expected to account for 8% by 2030 and potentially 15% by 2047. This growth is driven by the rising involvement of private sector players in developing advanced small satellites, geospatial technologies, and orbital transfer vehicles, among other innovations.

Private Sector Role and FDI

The Minister highlighted that India currently allows 100% FDI in the space sector, which is opening new horizons of innovation and growth. He noted the crucial role of private players in contributing to sectors like agriculture, environment, and governance through space technology.

Technology Transfer and Future Missions

Dr. Singh directed officials to expedite the Transfer of Technology (ToT) by ISRO to private entities, a practice that has seen 403 transfers by 2020 and an additional 50 by NSIL/IN-SPACE to date. The meeting also reviewed upcoming ISRO missions, including the NISAR programme, a joint Earth-observing mission with NASA, the GSAT-20 launch, a reusable launch vehicle landing exercise, and a space docking experiment.

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