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18-December -2023

1. India has witnessed investment of over Rs.1,000 crore in Space Startups in last nine months of the current financial year from April to December 2023, says Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh.

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology – Developing New Technology – Space Directly asking about space startups might be less likely in Prelims. However, you can expect mains questions related to the broader issues surrounding India’s space program, technology advancements, or entrepreneurship
  • Over Rs. 1000 crore invested in 190+ startups since opening up.
  • Govt. initiatives like InSPACE & NSIL further propelling growth.
  • Future focused on tech-driven advancements with India leading in AI & quantum technology.
  • New research foundation established to boost innovation.
 Space Sector Growth:
  • Investment of over Rs. 1,000 crore in Space Startups in the last nine months (April to December 2023).
  • The Space sector opened up for private players due to a bold decision by the government.
Startup Expansion:
  • From one Space Startup four years ago, India now boasts almost 190 private Space Startups.
  • Earlier Space Startups have transitioned into entrepreneurs.
  • Overall startup growth: From 350 in 2014 to about 1,30,000, including Unicorns.
Enabling Milieu for Entrepreneurship:
  • The government’s vision and policy initiatives have created an enabling environment for entrepreneurship.
  • InSPACE interphase and NSIL public sector unit established to facilitate PPP mode projects in the Space sector.
Technology and Governance:
  • The government has scrapped obsolete rules and focused on citizen-centric Governance using technology.
  • Sriharikota gates opened to all stakeholders.
  • Application of technology in initiatives like SVAMITVA scheme (satellites and drones for mapping land ownership) and Face Recognition Technology for DLC.
Technological Leadership of India:
  • Chandrayaan Mission discovered evidence of water on the Moon.
  • India taking the lead in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technology.
  • Success of the Aroma Mission utilizing untapped bioresources.
Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF):
  • NRF to be a major supplement, mainly funded from non-government sources.
  • NRF enriches the ecosystem along with the National Education Policy NEP-2020, allowing flexibility in students’ academic paths.
Biological Resources and Aroma Mission:
  • The aim of the mission is to tap India’s vast wealth of untapped bioresources from the Himalayas to the coastline.
  • Success of the Aroma Mission in harnessing untapped biological resources.
Space Start-ups in India
Challenges for Space Startups in India:
  • Regulatory environment: New guidelines and regulations are still evolving, creating uncertainty for startups.
  • Access to technology and infrastructure: Limited access to testing facilities, launch pads, and data can hinder development.
  • Funding and investment: Attracting early-stage and venture capital investments can be difficult due to perceived high risk.
  • Skilled workforce: Building a qualified workforce with expertise in space technologies takes time and investment.
  • Competition from established players: Large government and private companies can present formidable competition.
Way Forward for Space Startups in India:
  • Streamline regulations: Simplify and clarify regulatory processes to provide predictability and stability for startups.
  • Promote collaboration: Encourage partnerships between startups, established players, and academic institutions.
  • Invest in infrastructure: Develop affordable testing facilities, launch pads, and data sharing platforms accessible to startups.
  • Foster innovation: Implement initiatives like hackathons and incubators to nurture ideas and talent.
  • Attract investors: Create tax breaks, grants, and angel investor networks to incentivize investments in space startups.
  • Develop niche areas: Focus on areas like satellite manufacturing, space applications, and data analytics where India can excel.
Practice Question: Critically assess the impact of policy reforms on India’s burgeoning space startup ecosystem. (150 Words/10 Marks)

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