India drafts policy to allow private sector foray into space

Indian onlookers watch the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle at Sriharikota in this file photo from Feb15, 2017. - AFP

MUMBAI (Xinhua): India has drafted a policy to enable the private sector to set up new communication satellites and ground stations.

The new Spacecom Policy 2020 will govern the commercial use of orbital slots, satellites, and ground stations for communication needs.

The last date for submission of comments is on Nov 4 before the policy goes to the union cabinet for approval, said the letter by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) inviting comments to the draft policy.

Indian private companies will be able to facilitate the growing demand for satellite-based broadcasting, network connectivity, and global mobile personal communication while establishing India as a significant player in the global space communication sector, the draft policy said.

As per the document, any Indian company sending a communication satellite in space will be liable for any damages to other objects in space and the environment and will have to provide a financial guarantee or insurance cover at the time of seeking approval the domestic space regulator.

Since 1980, India has brought in 32 indigenous operational communication satellites, operating from multiple orbital slots providing various services in different frequency bands. Timely replacements of these satellites at the end of their mission life are essential to protect the orbital resources under the Indian administration while providing the continuity of services.

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