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Current Affairs 27 February 2024

  1. Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh
  2. Tussle between ED and State Governments
  3. Household Consumption Expenditure Survey
  4. Deteriorating air quality in cities
  5. Gaganyaan mission
  6. PM launch space infrastructure projects


Context:

A joint team of security forces comprising District Reserve Guards (DRG), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Border Security Force (BSF) killed three Maoists during an operation in the Abujhmad area of Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Linkages of Organized Crime with Terrorism, Left-Wing Extremism)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Left-wing Extremism
  2. Trend in Maoist / Naxalite insurrection
  3. What is Naxalism in India?
  4. Causes of Naxalism in India
  5. Government Initiatives to fight LWE
  6. Way Forward

About Left-wing Extremism:

  • Left-wing extremists, commonly known globally as Maoists and in India as Naxalites, take their name from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal.
  • Naxalism originated as a revolt against local landlords who assaulted a peasant during a land dispute.
  • Initiated in 1967, the rebellion aimed at the just redistribution of land to working peasants and was led by Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal.
  • The movement has expanded across Eastern India, particularly in less developed areas of states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Naxals are believed to align with Maoist political sentiments and ideology. Maoism, developed by Mao Tse Tung, is a form of communism advocating the capture of state power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization, and strategic alliances.

Trend in Maoist / Naxalite insurrection

  • The Maoist insurrection which began first as the Naxalite movement in the 1970s and then intensified since 2004, following the merger of two prominent insurgent groups, remains a mindless guerrilla-driven militant movement that has failed to gain adherents beyond those living in remote tribal areas either untouched by welfare or are discontents due to state repression.
  • The Maoists are now considerably weaker than a decade ago, with several senior leaders either dead or incarcerated, but their core insurgent force in south Bastar remains intact.
  • The recourse to violence is now little more than a ploy to invite state repression which furthers their aim of gaining new adherents.
  • While the Indian state has long since realised that there cannot only be a military end to the conflict, the Chhattisgarh government’s inability to reach out to those living in the Maoist strongholds remains a major hurdle, which has resulted in a protracted but violent stalemate in the area.

What is Naxalism in India?

  • A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of any political organisation that claims the legacy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), founded in Calcutta in 1969. The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the Naxalite peasant revolt took place in 1967.
  • It creates conditions for non-functioning of the government and actively seeks disruption of development activities as a means to achieve its objective of ‘wresting control’. It spreads fear among the law-abiding citizens.
  • Naxalism is considered to be one of the biggest internal security threats India faces.
  • The conflict is concentrated the Eastern part of the country, particularly an area known as the Red Corridor spread across the states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. o Some districts of Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh etc are impacted by Naxalism.
  • Naxal violence is related to the intensity of the feeling of people of their deprivation and their commitment to take revenge against those who are believed to be responsible for such denial.
  • Currently, the main supporters of the movement are marginalized groups of India including Dalits and Adivasis, who believe they have been neglected by the government.
  • Further, Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology.

Causes of Naxalism in India

  • Mismanagement of Forests: It is one of the main reasons for the spread of Naxalism. It started with the British government. The monopolization of the forest started with the enactment of various forest laws. The integration with the wider world led to an influx of a new class like moneylenders. The administrative machinery became more exploitative and extortionate at functional level.
  • Tribal policies not implemented well: Even during the post-Independence era, the government was not able to stop the process of the tribal alienation and their displacement caused by large projects. Even the issues of food security were not fully sorted out. Consequently, Naxalism made inroads in Orissa and other states.
  • The Growing inter and intra-regional disparities: Naxalism attract people who have poor livelihood like fishermen, farmers, daily labourers and bamboo cutters. The government policies have failed to stem the growing inter and intra-regional disparities. The poor people think that Naxalism can provide solutions to their problems.
  • Absence of proper Industrialization and lack of land reforms: The half-hearted implementation of land reforms by the government has yielded negative results. The agrarian set up has not been defined in the absence of proper implementation of survey and settlement. This further damaged the agriculture production and the rural economy. Absence of proper industrialization has failed to generate employment for rural people leading to dissatisfaction with the government. It is also one of the causes behind Naxalism.
  • Geographical Terrain: Naxalism thrives in areas covered with forests. It helps them fight against the police and the army by waging Guerrilla warfare.
  • Middle Class Youth: The educated youths have been the largest supporters of the Naxalist movement as the maximum of the youths involved in the movement are medical and engineering graduates. Universities have turned up to be a pitch for the creation of radical ideologies.

Government Initiatives to fight LWE

  • Greyhounds was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas. It decreased Naxal affected areas from 223 to 90 districts in 9 years.
  • LWE Mobile Tower Project envisioned to improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government in 2014, approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme was launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
  • Police Modernization Scheme plus fortification of police station in areas affected by Naxal movements. Assistance in training of State Police through the Ministry of Defence.
  • National Policy and Action Plan 2015 is a multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights & entitlement of local communities etc
  • Special Infrastructure Scheme for funds to the States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha to raise Special Task Force to combat LWE.
  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme: Under this the central Govt. reimburses security related expenditure to the LWE affected state Governments.
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 has been amended to strengthen the punitive measures.

SAMADHAN Doctrine

SAMADHAN doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem.

It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels.

  • S- Smart Leadership,
  • Aggressive Strategy,
  • M- Motivation and Training,
  • Actionable Intelligence,
  • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
  • H- Harnessing Technology,
  • Action plan for each Theatre, and
  • N- No access to Financing.

Way Forward

  • Good governance – Analyzing the loopholes in the present strategy and developing a coherent national strategy to end the menace.
  • Dialogue – Between the Naxal leaders, and the government officials can be a way to work out a solution.
  • Generate more employment and increase wages – insecure livelihood and unemployment in the areas have left the people with little option but to join the Naxals.
  • Ending the political marginalization of weaker sections – Weaker sections of the society, the schedule castes and schedule tribes still face discrimination from the upper class making them a soft target for the Naxals.
  • Remove disparity – Economic disparity and the growing distance between rich and the poor is one of the main problems that has contributed to the growth of Naxalism.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          



Context:

The Tamil Nadu Government asks the Supreme Court to declare whether the Enforcement Directorate has the power to investigate “any offence” in the country.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Constitution, Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the issue between TN and ED?
  2. Enforcement Directorate
  3. Functions of Enforcement Directorate
  4. From where does the ED get its powers?
  5. At what stage does the ED step in when a crime is committed?
  6. What differentiates the probe between the local police and officers of the ED?

What is the issue between TN and ED?

  • Recently, the Tamil Nadu Government questioned the powers of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).
  • Following the repeated refrain of the Supreme Court from cooperating with a Directorate of Enforcement (ED) probe into “illegal” sand mining, the TN Government asked the court to first declare that the Central probe agency has the power to investigate “any offence” in the country.
  • The State Government said that ED had no jurisdiction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to investigate sand mining.
    • It says that sand mining was not a scheduled offence listed under the PMLA.
  • The issue began when the agency summoned five District Collectors under the PMLA and asked them to bring along their Aadhaar copies, passport size photos, list of sand mining sites, GPS coordinates of the mining sites, etc.
    • However, the ED had issued summons to the concerned District Collectors.
  • This is the second time the ED and the Tamil Nadu Government have engaged in a tussle in the Top Court.

Enforcement Directorate

  • The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.
  • It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.
  • It is composed of officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.
  • The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1 May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
  • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

Functions of Enforcement Directorate

  • The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the Government of India namely, the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA).
  • The ED’s (Enforcement Directorate) official website enlists its other objectives which are primarily linked to checking money laundering in India.
  • In fact this is an investigation agency so providing the complete details on public domain is against the rules of GOI.
  • The ED investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations includes; non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amount, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  • ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA. “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].
  • To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action and survey etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under Money Laundering Act.
  • To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.

The PMLA being relatively new, can the ED investigate cases of money laundering retrospectively?

  • If an ill-gotten property is acquired before the year 2005 (when the law was brought in) and disposed off, then there is no case under PMLA.
  • But if proceeds of the crime were possessed before 2005, kept in cold storage, and used after 2005 by buying properties, the colour of the money is still black and the person is liable to be prosecuted under PMLA.
  • Under Section 3 (offence of money laundering) a person shall be guilty of the offence of money-laundering, if such person is found to have directly or indirectly attempted to indulge or knowingly assist a party involved in one or more of the following activities — concealment; possession; acquisition; use; or projecting as untainted property; or claiming as untainted property in any manner.

At what stage does the ED step in when a crime is committed?

  • Whenever any offence is registered by a local police station, which has generated proceeds of crime over and above ₹1 crore, the investigating police officer forwards the details to the ED.
  • Alternately, if the offence comes under the knowledge of the Central agency, they can then call for the First Information Report (FIR) or the chargesheet if it has been filed directly by police officials.
  • This will be done to find out if any laundering has taken place.

What differentiates the probe between the local police and officers of the ED?

  • Consider the following scenario: If a theft has been committed in a nationalised bank, the local police station will first investigate the crime.
  • If it is learnt that the founder of the bank took all the money and kept it in his house, without being spent or used, then the crime is only theft and the ED won’t interfere because the amount has already been seized.
  • But if the amount which has been stolen is used after four years to purchase some properties, then the ill-gotten money is brought back in the market; or if the money is given to someone else to buy properties in different parts of the country, then there is ‘laundering’ of money and the ED will need to step in and look into the layering and attachment of properties to recover the money.
  • If jewellery costing ₹1 crore is stolen, police officers will investigate the theft. The ED, however, will attach assets of the accused to recover the amount of ₹1 crore.

-Source: The Hindu          



Context:

According to the latest Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) 2022-23 released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), there is a fall in the average monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) of agricultural households.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23
  2. Reasons for fall in average monthly per capita consumption expenditure
  3. About Household Consumption Expenditure Survey
  4. About National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23:

  • The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has conducted Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) during August 2022 to July 2023.
  • As per the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23, for the first time, the average monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) of agricultural households has fallen below the overall average of rural households
  • This gap has been narrowing over the years.
  • Key facts:
    • In 1999-2000:  The MPCE of agricultural families was Rs 520, while the overall average of rural households was Rs 486.
    • In 2004-05: The MPCE of agricultural households was Rs 583, while the overall average of rural households was Rs 559.
    • In 2011-12:  The MPCE of agricultural households was Rs 1,436, a little more than the average rural spending of Rs 1,430.
  • The latest survey report also shows that in rural areas, Scheduled Tribes (STs) reported the lowest MPCE followed by the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Reasons for fall in average monthly per capita consumption expenditure:

  • Diversification of the rural economy:
    • According to the experts, the non-agricultural activities are gaining prominence, which has led to the diversification of the rural economy.
  • Migrant labourers:
    • Another possible reason could be that the migrant workers who returned to their villages during Covid-19 may have stayed back and taken up agriculture, thus increasing the total number of those “self-employed in agriculture.
  • Farm protests:
    • The fall in the average MPCE of agricultural households as compared to overall rural households is significant in view of farm protests in recent years  over the now repealed farm laws in 2020-21.
    • The current agitation demanding legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) can also be a possible reason.

About Household Consumption Expenditure Survey:

  • The Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) is designed to collect information on consumption of goods and services by the households.
  • The survey is conducted at regular intervals by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • This survey on household consumption expenditure aims at generating estimates of household Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure (MPCE) and its distribution separately for the rural and urban sectors of the country, for States and Union Territories, and for different socio-economic groups.
    • The survey also collects some auxiliary information on household characteristics and demographic particulars of the households.
  • Coverage:
    • The survey has covered the whole of the Indian Union except a few inaccessible villages in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

About National Sample Survey Office (NSSO):

  • The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), formerly called the National Sample Survey Organisation was the largest organisation in India conducting periodic socio-economic surveys.
  • The NSSO was set up in 1950 to conduct large-scale sample surveys throughout India. The employees of the NSSO are from the Indian Statistical Service (appointed through the UPSC) and the Subordinate Statistical Service (appointed through the Staff Selection Commission).

-Source: The Indian Express     



Context:

Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed 53 cities to submit a complete report on the contribution of each polluting source and measures taken to reduce pollution.

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key points
  2. About Air Quality Index
  3. About National Ambient Air Quality Standards:
  4. National Green Tribunal (NGT)
  5. Structure of National Green Tribunal
  6. Powers of NGT

Key points:

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked 53 cities to submit a report on the contribution of each polluting source and the measures taken to reduce pollution.
    • These cities witnessed deterioration in air quality.
  • The order was passed by the tribunal while hearing the issue of air quality deterioration in different cities across India as reflected in the Air Quality Index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • The Tribunal also previously pointed out that the states did not fully utilise the funds received under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and the 15th Finance Commission.
  • NGT had also asked the concerned states to submit a further action-taken report.

About Air Quality Index

  • National Air Quality Index was launched by the Prime Minister in April, 2015 starting with 14 cities to disseminate air quality information.
  • The AQI has six categories of air quality, viz Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe with distinct colour scheme. Each of these categories is associated with likely health impacts.
  • AQI considers eight pollutants (PM10, PM 2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3 and Pb) for which (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.

About National Ambient Air Quality Standards:

  • The mandate provided to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act empowers it to set standards for the quality of air.
  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were notified in the year 1982, duly revised in 1994 based on health criteria and land uses.
  • The NAAQS have been revisited and revised in November 2009 for 12 pollutants, which include
    • Sulphur dioxide (SO2),
    • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2),
    • Particulate matter having size less than 10 micron (PM10),
    • Particulate matter having size less than 2.5 micron (PM2.5),
    • Ozone,
    • Lead,
    • Carbon monoxide (CO),
    • Arsenic,
    • Nickel,
    • Benzene,
    • Ammonia,
    • Benzopyrene

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  • The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, passed by the Central Government.
  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
  • NGT Act draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of (Constitution of India/Part III) Article 21 Protection of life and personal liberty, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • The stated objective of the Central Government was to provide a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environment protection, conservation of forests and for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to violation of environmental laws or conditions specified while granting permissions.

Structure of National Green Tribunal

  • Following the enactment of the said law, the Principal Bench of the NGT has been established in the National Capital – New Delhi, with regional benches in Pune (Western Zone Bench), Bhopal (Central Zone Bench), Chennai (Southern Bench) and Kolkata (Eastern Bench). Each Bench has a specified geographical jurisdiction covering several States in a region.
  • The Chairperson of the NGT is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Head Quartered in Delhi.
  • Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts. Each bench of the NGT will comprise of at least one Judicial Member and one Expert Member.
  • Expert members should have a professional qualification and a minimum of 15 years’ experience in the field of environment/forest conservation and related subjects.

Powers of NGT

The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act. These include the following:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • This means that any violations pertaining ONLY to these laws, or any order / decision taken by the Government under these laws can be challenged before the NGT.
  • Importantly, the NGT has NOT been vested with powers to hear any matter relating to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and various laws enacted by States relating to forests, tree preservation etc.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu



Context:

Recently, the Prime Minister revealed the names of the four astronauts that will fly to low-Earth orbit as part of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Gaganyaan.

  • This will be the first crewed Indian space mission.
  • Astronauts selected are Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Prathap, Ajit Krishnan and Shubanshu Shukla

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Gaganyaan
  2. Significance of the Gaganyaan Mission

About Gaganyaan

  • Under the Gaganyaan 3 flights will be sent into orbit of which two are unmanned flights and one is human spaceflight.
  • The Gaganyaan system module, called the Orbital Module will have three to four Indian astronauts.
  • The Gaganyaan mission will demonstrate India’s human spaceflight capability by launching astronauts to an orbit 400 kilometres above the Earth for a 3-day mission. 
  • GSLV Mk III, also called the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3,) the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability.

Significance of the Gaganyaan Mission

  • Gaganyaan will involve numerous agencies, laboratories, disciplines, industries and departments and help inspire youth along with enhancing science and technology levels.
  • It will help in improvement of industrial growth and development of technology for social benefits.
  • It will also help in improving international collaboration in the field of space technology.

-Source: The Indian Express



Context:

The Prime Minister of India inaugurated three important space infrastructure projects worth about 1,800 crore rupees.

Relevance:

GS Paper-3: Awareness in the fields of Space

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key points
  2. Current Status of India’s Space Sector
  3. Challenges in the Space Sector
  4. Role of ISRO

Key points:

  • The space infrastructure projects inaugurated include
    • PSLV Integration Facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota
    • New ‘Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and stage Test facility’ at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri and
    • ‘Trisonic Wind Tunnel’ at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram

Current Status of India’s Space Sector

India’s space sector has gained global recognition for its cost-effective satellite building capabilities. Here are some of the current developments in India’s space sector:

  • Peaceful and Civilian Use: India continues to advocate for peaceful and civilian use of outer space and opposes any weaponization of space capabilities or programs as part of its commitment to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
  • ISRO: ISRO is the 6th largest space agency in the world and holds an exceptional success rate.
  • Private Space Companies: With over 400 private space companies, India ranks fifth globally in the number of space companies.
  • Defence Space Agency: India has recently established its Defence Space Agency (DSA) supported by the Defence Space Research Organisation (DSRO). The DSA has the mandate to create weapons to “degrade, disrupt, destroy or deceive an adversary’s space capability”.
  • Defence Space Mission: The Indian Prime Minister launched the Defence Space Mission at the Defence Expo 2022, Gandhinagar.
  • Expanding Satellite Manufacturing Capabilities: India’s satellite-manufacturing opportunity is expected to reach USD 3.2 billion by 2025 (up from USD 2.1 billion in 2020).
  • SAMVAD Program: To encourage and nurture space research among young minds, ISRO launched its Student Outreach Program called SAMVAD at its Bengaluru facility.

Challenges in the Space Sector

  • Lack of Regulations on Commercialisation: The rise of private companies launching satellites for internet services (such as Starlink-SpaceX) and space tourism is accelerating the commercialization of outer space. Without a proper regulatory framework, rising commercialisation may lead to monopolization in the future.
  • Rising Space Debris: As more outer space expeditions take place, space debris accumulates, and even small pieces can damage spacecraft due to the high speed at which objects orbit the Earth.
  • China’s Space Leap: China’s space industry has grown rapidly, and it has launched its own navigation system, BeiDou. The participation of Belt Road Initiative (BRI) members in China’s space sector may solidify China’s global position and lead to the weaponization of outer space.
  • Increasing Global Trust Deficit: An arms race for the weaponization of outer space is creating an environment of suspicion, competition, and aggressiveness across the globe, which could lead to conflict. It could also put at risk the entire range of satellites, as well as those involved in scientific explorations and communication services.

Role of ISRO:

  • Focuses on R&D: o The Policy states that ISRO, as the national space agency, will focus primarily on the research and development of new space technologies and applications as well as on enhancing human understanding of the universe.
    • ISRO will conduct applied research and develop newer systems to meet this objective and maintain India’s competitive advantage in the fields of space infrastructure, space transportation, space applications, capacity building, and human spaceflight.
  • Moving away from Operational Space Systems: According to the Policy, ISRO must move away from its current practise of participating in the production of operational space systems.
    • Mature systems must be transferred to industries for use in commerce.

Distribution of Responsibilities:

  • Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe): o IN-SPACe will grant authorizations to both government entities and NGEs for space activities, such as the establishment and/or operation of space objects, the launch of rockets, the establishment of launchpads, planned re-entry of space objects, and so forth.
    • It will work with industry clusters that are centred on the space sector, strive to make India a top choice for providing goods and services to foreign customers, and collaborate with academic institutions to foster links between the private and public sectors.
    • Frameworks for creating standards for the space industry will also be defined, based on international standards.
    • In consultation with the relevant departments, IN-SPACe will approve the use of space objects for communication and broadcast services.
    • By prioritising their use by Government entities and NGEs, it will ensure an even playing field for the use of all facilities built with public funds. The decisions of IN-SPACe shall be binding on the owners and operators of such facilities, and it will develop the necessary procedures for prioritisation in this regard.
    • Through filings with the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it will encourage NGEs to acquire new orbital resources.
  • The commercialization of space technologies and platforms developed with public funds will be the responsibility of New Space India Limited (NSIL).
    • It will also meet users’ needs for space-based services and manufacture, rent, or buy space components.
  • Department of Space: It is responsible for ensuring that the various stakeholders are appropriately empowered to carry out their respective functions without interfering with those of other parties and for overseeing the distribution of the duties outlined in this policy.
  • In addition, the DoS will be in charge of maintaining current and future satellite constellations as well as ground segments, and it will create a framework to ensure safe and sustainable space operations in accordance with applicable international space debris mitigation standards.

-Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu          

 


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