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India’s Space Program Inches Closer to America and the Quad

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13.10.2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to privatize one of his country’s most zealously guarded governmental monopolies: the space sector. In a major speech at the inauguration of the Indian Space Association, a new industry grouping this week, Modi called for a new approach, where, he said, the private sector is free to innovate and the government becomes an enabler.

The announcement was a significant step in Modi’s efforts to pull private resources into India’s space sector, which has rapidly fallen behind global peers as space competition heats up in telecommunications, resource exploration, planetary expeditions, and defense. What’s more, Modi’s reorientation of India’s space policy is yet another indication of the profound shift in New Delhi’s geostrategic orientation.

Modi’s government has been exploring common ground on space security issues bilaterally with the United States and also plans to work with India’s partners in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—Australia, Japan, and the United States—to leverage their collective space capabilities. For now, these would include areas like monitoring climate change, managing disasters, and mapping precious natural resources from space. For the first time, New Delhi is also ready to work with Washington and its allies on setting new global norms to manage space, including rules for commercial competition and the use of space for defense.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to privatize one of his country’s most zealously guarded governmental monopolies: the space sector. In a major speech at the inauguration of the Indian Space Association, a new industry grouping this week, Modi called for a new approach, where, he said, the private sector is free to innovate and the government becomes an enabler.

The announcement was a significant step in Modi’s efforts to pull private resources into India’s space sector, which has rapidly fallen behind global peers as space competition heats up in telecommunications, resource exploration, planetary expeditions, and defense. What’s more, Modi’s reorientation of India’s space policy is yet another indication of the profound shift in New Delhi’s geostrategic orientation.

Modi’s government has been exploring common ground on space security issues bilaterally with the United States and also plans to work with India’s partners in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—Australia, Japan, and the United States—to leverage their collective space capabilities. For now, these would include areas like monitoring climate change, managing disasters, and mapping precious natural resources from space. For the first time, New Delhi is also ready to work with Washington and its allies on........

© Foreign Policy


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