Saturday 05 December 2020, 07:55 PM
IN-SPACe should be single window agency for space licensing: Spacefed
By Venkatachari Jagannathan | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 11/10/2020 3:27:03 PM
IN-SPACe should be single window agency for space licensing: Spacefed

Chennai: The proposed Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) should be the single window clearance agency for all space-related licensing needs to reduce the bureaucratic hassle for private sector, industry body sector Space Federation of India (Spacefed) has suggested.

Last month, the Department of Space came out with the draft Space Based Communication Policy of India-2020 (Spacecom Policy-2020) and draft Norms, Guidelines and Procedures for implementation of Spacecom Policy-2020 (Spacecom NGP-2020) and had called for comments.

As per the draft Spacecom Policy, private players have to get necessary licences or frequency/siting clearances for earth stations from authorities like the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Communications or similar regulatory authorities in other countries as the case may be.

However, a Spacefed official told IANS that "IN-SPACe should become a single window clearance centre for all licensing requirements (including service and frequency allocation) of space-based communication systems including the ground segment and space segment".

"The onus of coordinating with other government departments should be taken in the back-end by the IN-SPACe authorities to reduce the bureaucratic hassle for the private entity," the official said.

The draft policy had said that apart from space-based communication for broadcasting, and telecommunications needs, there would still be communications requirement pertaining to applications in the domains of national security, strategic communications, surveillance and critical economic transactions that may require channels protected with appropriate hardware and software solutions.

For these secured communications, in view of sensitivities involved, the systems need to be developed with indigenous designs and modules under the direct control of government and such systems shall be pursued by the Space Department.

Reacting to this, Spacefed is learnt to have suggested that in the spirit of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' for space and defence needs in India, Indian private entities should be actively encouraged to participate and serve the defence and strategic space based communications needs of India.

"We strongly recommend that the national security directed concerns should not be cited as reason to prohibit direct participation of private industry in offering and developing space-based communication systems for our nation's defence and strategic needs," is what Spacefed has suggested, the official preferring anonymity said.

"It has to be at discretion of defence agencies to decide whether or not they prefer to engage with private players for the developmental project and they do want private sector to engage in these activities," the official said as to the Federation's views.

According to Spacefed, the rapid development of China's space-based communication earth observation assets was only possible after civil-military integration policy they are taken up promoting and supporting private entities to serve and cater to national security and strategic needs.

The draft Spacecom policy had said that Indian private sector players wanting to provide communication service within and outside India using a space-based asset are liable for damages caused to other space objects in outer space and its environment, and have to take care of that by providing financial guarantee or insurance cover.According to the Spacefed official, large insurance premiums and mandating entire liability on private entity for all cases can cause irreparable damage to the sector which is dominated by start-ups.

"IN-SPACe should play an active role in bringing in national insurance companies on board to offer insurance services to commercial space activities at very reasonable and affordable costs. Government subsidised insurance offerings to the private space activities is going to be one most instrumental factor in the establishing a vibrant private space sector," the official said, on Spacefed's views.

According to Spacefed, countries including France, Austria, the US, and Japan also have mechanisms to minimise liability on private companies to a reasonable and bearable amount with the state supporting the damages beyond it, to a particular limit.Subsidising the insurance premiums and easing export regulations is also key to supporting operations of private companies.

Exemptions to liability in Force Majeur (Act of God) events such as natural space phenomenon like solar flares, should be considered and private companies involved in societal applications especially in national interest, should get exemptions in licensing, insurance and other high expenses, Spacefed has said.

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proposed,National,Promotion,Authorisation,Centre,IN-SPACe,licensing,

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