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ISRO facilities to be opened up for private firms, startups; central govt to bring a new liberal geospatial data policy

Private companies will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities.

While addressing the media on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government wants the private sector to be co-traveller in the space sector journey of the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). Nirmala Sitharaman in a press conference along with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said, “The Indian Space Research Organisation has brought a lot of laurels to the country. However, the private sector is also doing a lot of work in the arena now. We want the Indian Private sector to be a co-traveller in India’s space sector journey.”

The finance minister said that a liberal geospatial data policy will be announced by the government that will allow tech entrepreneurs to tap Indian remote sensing satellite data to build applications for areas such as agriculture. Currently, most of them are “paying through their nose” to get these data from foreign companies, she said.

She further added, “We will provide a predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players. They will be allowed to use the ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities.”

“We want to help Indian startups that are doing pioneering work,” Sitharaman added.

Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Indian government and has its headquarters in Bengaluru. Now the facilities and technology the ISRO comprises will be availed by the Private sector as well.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the fourth tranche of the Modi government’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” package worth Rs 20 lakh crores to restart the economy following the coronavirus lockdown.

The fourth tranche of the economic package focussed on eight sectors – coal, minerals, defense production, airspace managements/airports/MRO, power distribution companies in UTs, the space sector, and atomic energy.

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