India's New Frontier in Space

Published By : Admin | February 15, 2024 | 18:13 IST

Since its inception, India's space program has evolved into a formidable force, contributing significantly to scientific advancements, technological innovation, and national development. In recent years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India's space sector has witnessed even more remarkable growth, with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at the forefront of pioneering achievements.

One of the key metrics of India's progress in the space sector is its launch frequency and satellite deployment. Since 2014, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been launching satellites at an impressive pace, bolstering communication, navigation, weather forecasting, and surveillance capabilities. Between 2014 and 2023, India launched 396 foreign satellites and 70 domestic satellites, a significant increase from the preceding decade, which saw only 33 foreign satellites and 31 domestic satellites launched.

India has also made significant strides in developing indigenous satellites, reducing its reliance on foreign technology and expertise. ISRO's satellite manufacturing capabilities have grown exponentially, with a focus on designing, building, and launching satellites entirely within the country. This indigenous approach not only enhances India's self-reliance in space technology but also fosters innovation and expertise among Indian scientists and engineers. From navigation satellites like IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) to communication satellites like GSAT series, India's indigenous satellite fleet continues to expand, catering to diverse national needs.

Advancements in areas such as propulsion systems, miniaturization of satellites, reusable launch vehicles, and satellite constellations have positioned India as a frontrunner in space exploration. Initiatives like the development of the GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, Chandrayaan, Mars Orbiter missions, Aditya-L1, XPoSAT and the upcoming Gaganyaan human spaceflight program underscore India's commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration.

Recognizing the need to boost India's market share in the global space economy, the government has also prioritized promoting private sector activity in the space sector. The Space Sector Reforms was announced in 2020 to enhance private players' participation in the Indian space program, enabling them to undertake independent space activities. Initiatives such as the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) and New Space India Limited (NSIL) have been introduced to facilitate private sector involvement and create a conducive policy environment for space startups and companies.

Another significant aspect of the reforms is the opening up of ISRO's infrastructure and facilities to the private sector. This move aims to leverage the national space infrastructure, including testing facilities, launch pads, and laboratories, to enable private industry participation in space activities. By providing access to these facilities through a business-friendly mechanism, the government seeks to enable private companies to climb the value chain and undertake end-to-end space missions.
India's space sector has also witnessed a surge in commercial activities and international collaborations. ISRO's commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, facilitates the commercial launch of satellites for various countries and organizations, generating revenue and fostering global partnerships. Collaborations with countries like the United States, Russia, France, and Israel have enabled India to leverage expertise, resources, and technology for mutual benefit. Additionally, India's participation in international space forums and organizations has enhanced its standing as a responsible space-faring nation.

These reforms have sparked a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Indian space industry, leading to the emergence of numerous startups and companies offering innovative solutions for space exploration. The number of space startups has skyrocketed from just one in 2014 to 189 in 2023. Notable examples include Agnikul Cosmos, a Chennai-based startup, that received support from the Department of Space for developing critical components for its launch vehicle. Similarly, Bellatrix Aerospace, engaged in propulsion system development, received encouragement from the Department of Space. The inauguration of India's first private launch pad and mission control center by Agnikul Cosmos at the ISRO campus in Sriharikota also signified a significant milestone in India's space journey.
India's space program has achieved several milestones in recent years, reflecting the nation's growing prowess in space technology and exploration. Notably, the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon's south pole in August 2023 marked a historic achievement for ISRO. This mission, coupled with the launch of India's first solar observatory (Aditya-L1) and the developmental flight of the Crew Escape System (CES), demonstrates India's commitment to advancing space exploration. Furthermore, IN-SPACe's initiatives, such as the first-ever sub-orbital launch of the Vikram-S rocket by Skyroot Aerospace, highlight the growing capabilities of India's private space industry.

India's space sector is now poised for continued growth and innovation, driven by a combination of government support, private sector participation, and technological advancements. With upcoming missions like the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) and Space Docking Experiment (SPADEX), India is set to make further strides in space exploration and research, contributing to scientific knowledge and national development.

India's progress in the space sector since 2014 reflects its unwavering commitment to scientific excellence, technological innovation, and national development. From launching satellites at an unprecedented rate to exploring the Moon and Mars, India’s space odyssey has left an indelible mark on the global stage. As the nation embarks on even more ambitious space missions, the future looks bright for India's space program, inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers to reach for the stars.

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PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.