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  • Space India 2.0 Commerce, Policy, Security and

    Governance Perspectives

    Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan Narayan Prasad (Eds.)

  • © 2017 Observer Research Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from ORF.

    ISBN: 978-81-86818-28-2

    Printed by: Mohit Enterprises


    Foreword vii K Kasturirangan, former Chairman, ISRO

    Introduction xi Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan and Narayan Prasad

    I Space Commerce

    1. Space 2.0 India: Leapfrogging Indian Space Commerce 1 Narayan Prasad

    2. Traditional Space and NewSpace Industry in India: Current Outlook and Perspectives for the Future 11 Narayan Prasad

    3. A Review of India’s Commercial Space Efforts 23 K R Sridhara Murthi

    4. Exploring the Potential of Satellite Connectivity for Digital India 37 Neha Satak, Madhukara Putty, Prasad H L Bhat

    5. Unlocking the Potential of Geospatial Data 51 Arup Dasgupta

    6. Developing a Space Start-up Incubator to Build a NewSpace Ecosystem in India 71 Narayan Prasad

    7. Electronic Propulsion & Launch Vehicles: Today and Beyond – An Indian Perspective 85 Rohan M Ganapathy, Arun Radhakrishnan and Yashas Karanam

  • iv

    II Space Policy

    8. Privatisation of Space in India and the Need for A Law 103 Kumar Abhijeet

    9. SATCOM Policy: Bridging the Present and the Future 119 Ashok GV and Riddhi D’ Souza

    10. A Review of India’s Geospatial Policy 141 Ranjana Kaul

    11. Formation of PSLV Joint Venture: Legal Issues 151 Malay Adhikari

    12. Exploring Space as an Instrument in India’s Foreign Policy & Diplomacy 165 Vidya Sagar Reddy

    III Space Security

    13. India’s Strategic Space Programme: From Apprehensive Beginner to Ardent Operator 179 Ajey Lele

    14. Space Situational Awareness and Its Importance 193 Moriba Jah

    15. Need for an Indian Military Space Policy 199 Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

    IV International Cooperation

    16. Cooperation in Space between India and France 215 Jacques Blamont

    17. India-US: New Dynamism in Old Partnership 235 Victoria Samson

    18. Evolution of India-Russia Partnership 245 Vladimir Korovkin

  • v

    19. Cooperating with Israel: Strategic Convergence 265 Deganit Paikowsky and Daniel Barok

    20. An Asian Space Partnership with Japan? 275 Kazuto Suzuki

    21. India and Australia: Emerging Possibilities 283 Jason Held

    V Space Sustainability and Global Governance

    22. Space Debris Tracking: An Indian Perspective 295 MYS Prasad

    23. Astro-propriation: Investment Protections for and from Space Mining Operations 311 Daniel A Porras

    24. Sustainability, Security and Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty 335 Charles Stotler

    25. Space Security, Sustainability, and Global Governance: India-Japan Collaboration in Outer Space 359 Yasushi Horikawa

    26. India and Global Space Governance: Need for A Pro-active Approach 371 Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

    About the Authors 383


    In the modern history of humankind’s forays into the field of exploration and uses of outer space, India’s space endeavours have occupied a special place due to the richness and the quality of their contributions. With few rivals in sheer mystery, space continues to capture the imagination of our younger generation, presenting an inexhaustible potential for exploration, discovery and diverse uses that modern society demands. What has been established with certainty through the past decades of space endeavours, of the world in general and of India in particular, is its multidimensional role and relevance—from international diplomacy for peace to applications that touch the daily lives of large populations across the world.

    As is true with any modern tool, space technology can serve as an instrument in enhancing human welfare, forewarning against disasters, and expanding the horizons of human knowledge. It can also be used to mitigate the devastating consequences of conflicts, wars and deprivation that threaten human survival.

    Space governance has thus become a major concern for the international community in recent decades, amidst new threats such as the growth and evolution of terrorism. The number of stakeholders in outer space has also increased considerably, and a key role is now being played by private entities in an environment which is becoming congested and heavily contested in some parts. Today, more nations are actively participating in space activities by building and operating space systems. Informed debates on issues relevant to space governance assume high priority both at national and international levels.

    By its fundamental nature, space inspires a global perspective, and reveals a viewpoint that extends to a universal dimension. Indeed, space endeavours of diverse nations have global implications. The ancient Indian thought and traditions reflect such a broader and universal outlook, as they explored the principles of human development and mysteries of

  • viii

    origins, existence and destiny of the universe by dwelling deeper into human consciousness. India’s current progress is also extending to the outer world, addressing the quality of life of a billion-plus population. India stands at a cusp to establish harmony of inner and outer lives; this may yet prove to be its major contribution to global development.

    A hallmark of India’s space programme has been international cooperation. Some of the finest expressions of this paradigm can be seen from the beginnings of the programme, such as the dedication of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station to the United Nations and the assistance to an international community of scientists in the study of upper- atmospheric phenomena. Transcending ideological barriers, India’s cooperation has also flowered into different hues, including joint space missions, data sharing, capacity building in space applications, and policy coordination. Of great relevance is how this can be evolved in the future as a vibrant instrument of new advances in space activities, including human space flight, space commerce, actions against climate change, and international peace and security.

    Over the decades, challenges of space activities have grown manifold. This is a time when the world is seeing the emergence of NewSpace as a revolution in space industry, with private industries leading the way in applying the foundation elements established by space agencies as commercial value propositions. Disruptive business models are being built and there are distinct signs of growing potential for the overall size of the space economy to grow multi-fold. Policy elements relevant to space commerce and the private sector’s role in the future is extremely relevant for the growth of India’s space endeavours.

    Security applications of space, on one hand, and ensuring secure environment using space, on the other, are no longer a matter of choice for spacefaring states like India. Several initiatives at the international level need to be coordinated and harmonised with India’s national interests, as the country emerges as an economic power and seeks to strengthen its relations with other states in an interdependent world. Examining the various aspects of this dimension is extremely important, both to develop holistic perspectives and to generate required capacities in India.

  • ix

    The Observer Research Foundation’s (ORF) initiative is commendable for creating a platform for discourse. As it involves both national and international experts on these extremely relevant issues, this volume of well-researched articles provides highly relevant analyses in the context of future developments in the field of space.

    Indeed, such interaction at the international level is not new to the Indian space programme. From the outset, with Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the leadership of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has pursued interaction with the finest minds in science, government, and industry. Such fruitful interactions have generated valuable contributions not only for India but also for the global community in terms of a vast array of societal applications of space technology, cost-effective approaches, and enriching collaborative endeavours such as Chandrayaan.

    This book gives insights by providing a glimpse into the past, while it connects with the present and delivers perspectives on the future dimensions of India’s space programme. The chapters cover a broad range– Commercial & NewSpace, Space Policy, Space Security, International Cooperation, and Space Sustainability & Global Governance—and they deliver educated suggestions and opinions to policymakers of the country to review their strategies on these issues. Understanding expert opinions in these areas shall bestow the emerging managers of the space programme with holistic insights. This work is a unique collection of thoughts and analyses on matters relevant to space policy and governance, a good account of accomplishments, and thought-provoking puzzles on future possibilities. The authors are national and international experts in different disciplines, both veteran and young scholars, and thus will be an invaluable resource for policymakers, academic researchers, and the public at large. This work can also be a concrete step for continuing discourse on varied subjects or issues of importance, which demand an interactive and evolutionary approach to progress on policy. While there co

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