New Delhi. 29 September  2022. Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) has partnered with SIA-India for the forthcoming India Space Congress 2022 to be held from October 26-28, 2022 in New Delhi.

Speaking at a webinar “India’s Inevitabilities for the Global Space Economy during the Amrit Kaal: Curtain Raiser to the India Space Congress,” Dr. Chaitanya Giri, Consultant – RIS, said, “Amrit Kaal as the theme of the discussion highlights Space activities in India for the next 25 years and how and what the nation needs to leverage the space sector to achieve space excellence. To have a cohesive roadmap, RIS and SIA-India has signed an MoU to collaborate and partner in the on-going space development of the nation.”

The webinar, which was a curtain raiser for the upcoming India Space Congress 2022, being held in New Delhi, highlighted the various segments of the Space ecosystem that are being addressed in the conference being hosted by SIA-India. A short video about the India Space Congress 2022 at the beginning of the webinar had Dr Subba Rao Pavulluri, President – SIA-India message “I am proud to be associated with the ISC’22. This is a very timely initiative by the association.”

Thought leaders and experts at the webinar discussed aspirations of rural and urban India and the need to have a meeting ground. Dr. Bhaskar Balakrishnan, Science Diplomacy Fellow – RIS, said, “Space companies can play a great role in serving the underserved areas where traditional telecom has not been reached. India Space Congress, 2022 will not only bring all stakeholders together but is also well timed as we are almost at the heels of space reforms. ISRO, Govt and Pvt sector collaboration and working cohesively is critical for the sector.” At the India Space Congress, the vertical is covered under the track focussed on ‘SatCom for rural communities’, ‘Satellites in 5G era and Beyond’

According to Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director – National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, “The Indian space program is unique as it is the only country that started its space initiatives with civilian applications, unlike other nations which started with military applications. Participation of the private sector in space technology will enable startups to flourish which will lead to an invigorating growth for the sector.” Dr. Nayak also said, “The India Space Congress will witness the coming together of not only veterans of the satcom industry but also of thinktanks, startups, government bodies and private players and this will lead to cohesive growth for the sector.” Sessions like ‘Navigating the Laws of Space Business in India’; ‘Insurance and Liability Coverage for Space Business’ ‘Space missions: Modelling and Risk Mitigation’ will address these and more.

Speaking at the webinar, Lt. Gen. Vinod Khandare, Advisor – Ministry of Defence, said, “This is an opportunity to chart out our course for the next 25 years. By the 100th year of independence India should be a ‘Viksit’ and ‘surakshit’ nation. Economic heft is very important for any nation’s growth and Space is a critical part of this growth. Decision makers must have a non-linear thought process to identify problem areas and find solutions to the problems. As a nation, it is time we learnt to look ahead of the curve.” He also spoke of “civil-military fusion in terms of human capital and technology which would create convergence and cross-pollination for the Space and defence sectors.” These concerns would be discussed in depth in the sessions ‘Talking to Machines-Satellites for IoT, Drones and Autonomous Vehicles’; ‘Pushing the Boundaries on Satellite Remote Sensing’; ‘Leveraging Data from Space.’

Lt. Gen. PJS Pannu (Retd.), Distinguished Fellow – United Services Institution of India, said, “We need to attain self-sufficiency in space technology and applications. The future of warfare space is going to be the 4th frontier. Digital warfare and networking would leverage IoT activities in the country. In Amrit Kaal we need to be the forerunner and be exclusive in the global space arena and the India Space Congress will lead discussions on how to make India a prominent player in the space economy.” The India Space Congress 22 will address such concerns in the sessions like ‘Space: the 4th Frontier of Warfare’ & ‘Leveraging Dual Use Capabilities for National Security.’

According to Anil Prakash, Director-General – SIA-India, “India Space Congress is a well-timed international conference and expo which will discuss and deliberate on how the private sector leverages their support in the global space economy. Supported by 6 government bodies and various state governments, India Space Congress will have multiple platforms of discussion that will culminate in recommendation and position paper.”

Responding to audience queries Dr Shailesh Nayak said: ‘India cannot be fully dependent on its indigenous capabilities, whatever we do not have at the moment, we can source from outside.” Earlier during the webinar, he had mentioned ‘Need for FDI is essential, but funds must come along with the technology. Collaboration with foreign OEMs, where we need tech support is the need of the hour. This very crucial segment will be talked about in the sessions ‘International Collaboration.”

Lt Gen Khandare also pointed out during the audience interaction “The DSA has already onboarded the private industry to address challenges of research, innovation and products. It would be depending upon the private industry more often and going forward it has to be a collaborative effort between the ISRO, private sector and the academia.” These critical issues are being addressed in session ‘Space: Industry Alliances.’

The India Space Congress 2022 is supported by ISRO, IN-SPACE, NSIL, DoT, MoD and the NITI Aayog apart from various domestic and international trade bodies.