Indian Space Association (ISpA) - UPSC Notes

The Prime Minister announced the formation of the Indian Space Association (ISpA) in October 2021. It is a major step towards expanding the space domain to the private sector in India. What is the Indian Space Association? What is its mandate and who are its members? Read on to know more. This is an important topic in the science and technology section of the UPSC exam.

Indian Space Association

The Indian Space Association is the premier industry association of space and satellite companies in India.

  • It is expected to help in the growth of India’s space missions and the space industry by bringing in collaborations between the public and private sectors in the space domain.
  • ISpA has among its members leading Indian and international corporations that have advanced capabilities in the space technologies sector.
  • The association will engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework that fulfils the Government’s vision.
  • It will also strive towards more global collaborations which can bring in investments and technologies to help the Indian space industry and also generate high-skilled jobs.
  • ISpA will strive to be the collective voice of the industry and it will engage in policy advocacy involving all stakeholders in the Indian Space domain, including the Government and its Agencies, to make India self-reliant, technologically advanced and a leading player in the space arena. 
  • It will work in tandem with the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).
  • ISpA’s tagline is “Bhumandal Se Brahmaand Tak”, meaning from “Earth to the Universe”.
  • ​​The ISpA will also play a crucial role in coordinating with the defence sector and other nodal space organisations, and this would especially be valuable for startups.

Indian Space Association Members

Founding members of the Indian Space Association are as follows:

  1. ISRO
  2. Bharti Airtel
  3. Larson & Toubro
  4. Nelco (Tata Group)
  5. OneWeb
  6. Mapmyindia
  7. Walchandnagar Industries
  8. Alpha Design Technologies

Other core members are Godrej, Ananth Technology Limited, Hughes India, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, Centum Electronics, BEL and Maxar India.

  • The first Chairperson of the ISpA is Mr. Jayant Patil, Whole time Director – Defence & Smart Technologies.
  • Vice Chairperson is Mr. Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory Officer Bharti Airtel and Director – OneWeb India.
  • Indian Space Association Director-General is Lt Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd).

Indian Space Association Significance 

Till date, there was no dedicated association that represents the interests and concerns of the private aerospace industry. ISpA fills this gap now. 

Space-related activities have great potential to usher in major benefits across the broader economy. ISRO’s missions have already shown how space technology can bring in social upliftment and economic gains to the country. India’s communications systems, entertainment options, weather and climate predictions and geo-locational services all depend exclusively on satellites.

The global satellite launch market is a big opportunity. ISpA can help build capacity, design and build larger satellites for international clients. This would be accelerated with many players in the field competing and researching more on this.

Satellite-based internet services could also take broadband access to remote areas, which are difficult to link through terrestrial networks. This is important for the Digital India vision of the government.

The Association can also aid the development of many allied industries like material sciences, solar power, medical diagnostics for manner missions, etc.

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