Minister says India targets five-fold increase in its share of the global space economy

Indian Minister Jitendra Singh addressing an event in Ahmedabad.
Indian Minister Jitendra Singh addressing an event in Ahmedabad. Photo Courtesy: PIB

Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh has said the country targets a five-fold increase in its share of the global space economy.

“India’s space economy today stands at a modest $8 billion, but our own projection is that by 2040 it will multiply manifold. But more interesting is that according to some international observers, for example the recent ADL (Arthur D Little) Report mentions that we could have the potential of $100 billion by 2040,” Singh said.

The minister made the remark while addressing the gathering after launching the Technical Centre of IN-SPACe in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Jitendra Singh said India’s quantum leap in the Space sector has only been possible after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the courageous decision to “unlock” this sector from the “veil of secrecy”.

“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has broken taboos of the past by opening the Space sector to public-private-participation,” he said.

“Even though talent was never lacking in the country, the missing link of enabling milieu was created under the leadership of PM Modi. With the opening up of the Space sector, the common masses have been able to witness the launch of the mega Space events like Chandrayaan-3 or Aditya,” he said.

Rise in startups in Space sector

Singh said, “Four-five years back, we had just one digit Startups in the Space sector, today we have nearly 200 private Space Startups after opening up of the sector while the earlier ones of them have even turned entrepreneurs.”

“There has been an investment of over Rs.1,000 crore by private Space Startups in the current financial year from April to December 2023,” he said.

Jitendra Singh said, “Even though our Space Research programme started in the year 1969, the year when the US landed first man on the moon, we caught up fast with the Space faring nations and last year Chandrayaan-3 made a historic touchdown on the virgin lunar south polar region where nobody has landed before.”

Jitendra Singh launching the Technical Centre of IN-SPACe in Ahmedabad. Photo Courtesy: PIB

The Minister said PM Modi hiked the Space budget manifold and opened up the sector.

“If you see the Space Budget alone, there is a 142% increase in the last nine years,” he said, pointing out that there has been a three-fold or more hike in related budgets like Dept. of Science & Technology and Dept. of Atomic Energy.

He said this is possibly the best time for Innovators, R&D and Startups. PM Modi has delivered the right ecosystem that supports and augments Innovation, promotes entrepreneurship and fosters a thriving industry.

Jitendra Singh said, “Out of the 424 foreign satellites launched by ISRO since 1990s, more than 90% – 389 were launched in the last nine years.”

“We have so far earned 174 Million US Dollars from the launching of the foreign satellites; out of these $174 million, as much as $157 million have been earned only in the last nine years… Out of the European satellites launched so far in the last 30 years or more than that, the total revenue generated is 256 million Euros, out of which Euro 223 million, almost 90%, earned in the last nine years, which means the scale has gone up, the speed has gone up and therefore there is a huge jump that has happened,” he said.

The state minister said the government has announced the Indian Space Policy 2023, which enables end-to-end participation of Non-Governmental Entities (NGEs) in all domains of Space activities.

“The role of the private sector in advancing India’s space technology and exploration efforts is undeniable. The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre or IN-SPACe was created to support private sector participation in space activities. Various schemes to encourage and hand hold private sector also announced and implemented by IN-SPACe, i.e., Seed Fund Scheme, Pricing Support Policy, Mentorship support, Design Lab for NGEs, Skill Development in Space Sector, ISRO facility utilisation support, Technology Transfer to NGEs,” he said.

Jitendra Singh said, IN-SPACe has signed around 45 MoUs with NGEs to provide necessary support for realisation of space systems and applications envisaged by such NGEs, which is expected to increase the industry participation in manufacturing of launch vehicles and satellites.

“There are several industry associations in the country related to the space sector, the Indian Space Association (ISpA) being one among them. The activities being carried out by such industry associations does not come under the purview of the government,” he said.

The 67-year-old lawmaker said India’s Space missions are designed to be cost effective, building upon human resources and skills.

Stating that the “Anusandhan National Research Foundation” will pave the way for a greater Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in scientific research, Jitendra Singh said the NRF will be a better model than the United States’ NRF.

“NRF budget envisions a funding of Rs. 50,000 crore over five years, out of which about 60%-70%, is estimated to come from non-government sources,” he said.

Reiterating that the age of silos is over, Dr Jitendra Singh said the NRF envisions integration between Public and Private sector and will provide high-level strategic direction of scientific research in the country as per recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) – 2020.