India will permit privately-owned satellites
July 11, 2022
By Chris Forrester
In a major change of government policy, the chairman of India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Dr S Somaneth has confirmed that locally owned private entities can own and operate certain satellites serving India. The change also extends to the developing, building and launching of rockets and the establishment of a privately backed launch facility.
Currently, India controls all satellites serving the country either through its own craft of licensed foreign operators and their signals coming into the nation.
ISRO is backing a new structure: Space Policy 2022.
Dr Somaneth, speaking at an event in Coimbatore on July 9th, said: “Government wants to reform the space sector. Space Policy 2022 has been prepared, in which we allow private entities to own and operate satellites.”
He specifically referred to “imaging” satellites and it is not yet clear whether the policy change will extend to commercial geostationary satellites.
He added: “With regard to investment, it will be 100 per cent for Indian companies. FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] will be regulated and government permission is required if it’s over 70 per cent. Private entities can own, develop and launch rockets also. They can build a launch pad also. Our goal is to create new avenues in the space sector.”