MUMBAI: Former Isro chief, K
, estimates that privatisation of the Indian space sector could generate between one to two lakh jobs in the near future.
Kasturirangan was addressing a webinar `Launching India to new heights in space,’ jointly organised on Friday by Niti Aayog, a premier policy think-tank of the government of India, and the office of the government’s principal scientific adviser.
While pointing out fresh job opportunities would come up, he said private space players should benefit from Isro’s spin-off technologies such as earth observation activities.
Isro chairman, K Sivan, said opening up of industries to the space arena would go a long way in stemming brain drain. “India has to acquire a share of the global space economy and the future scenario calls for an efficient way of doing this. The entire focus cannot be on Isro," he said.
On Thursday, the government announced the formation of a new autonomous company called In-Space, which will handle issues relating to participation of industries in the space sector.
Urging youngsters and industries, Sivan said, "Come forward and join space activities. We are ready to receive your applications.’’ He said industries would be allowed to launch their own rockets and satellites. ``We welcome them to Sriharikota to launch. ’’
Bidushi Bhattacharya, a former Nasa scientist, said there were about 1,700 space start-ups all over the world and India’s figure was less than 5%. "India has to bring in and train more people in space-based activities," she said. "The plan should not be to bring Space X to India, but to create our own Space X," she added.
Principal scientific adviser to the government of India, Prof Vijayraghavan called for a partnership between the government and the private sector. "The success of the government will be that of the private sector and the success of the private sector will be that of the government," he said.
PJS Pannu, who played a key role in setting up the Defence Space Agency, said the opening up of the space field would help India make strides in defence technology. "There could be a lot of profits and huge empowerment," he said.