In a major boost to the vision of PM Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said the IN-SPACe programme will be a torchbearer of this goal. Earlier Union Cabinet had last year approved the participation of the private sector in the entire range of space activities. ISRO chairman K Sivan, while pointing out the various challenges encountered due to Covid-19, said that virtual launch control centre and satellite control centre may become the new normal, while the agency has a packed new year that will also see more reforms.

Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), an Indian Space Research Organisation collaboration with the private sector is a newly created initiative that will boost Indian space exploration and provide a platform to the private companies. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced an agreement between NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) and Pixxel, a private satellite company for the launch of their first satellite in 2021.

The Department of Space also entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Agnikul Cosmos Pvt. Ltd, a Chennai based start-up company. This partnership will also enable the Department of Space to mentor the private players and help them collaborate with the Indian space agency. This is aimed at developing a public-private partnership and further develop the space tech market in India.

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There are more than 500 companies that partner with ISRO in carrying out space activities. The broad areas and sectors covered by private companies are providing materials, mechanical fabrication, electronic fabrication, system development, integration etc. Union Minister of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh had earlier said that the government will allow private companies to utilise infrastructures of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).