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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 24 April 2023

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 24 April 2023


  1. ISRO to prioritise R&D
  2. In the long run, wastewater may be useful

ISRO To Prioritise R&D


The Indian Space Policy-2023 was made public on April 20, 2023, with a focus on research and development of cutting-edge technologies.


GS Paper-3: Awareness in the fields of Space

Mains Question

Describe the key components of the Indian Space Policy 2023 and how they will affect the growth of the Indian space industry. (150 Words)

Encouragement for non-government entities (NGEs):

  • The policy permits non-government entities (NGEs) to provide domestic and international space-based communication services, run ground facilities for space object operations, and engage in end-to-end activities in the space sector.
  • The policy promotes the development and operation of telemetry, tracking, and command (TT&C) Earth Stations and satellite control centres (SCCs) by NGEs for the use of space objects.
  • The policy also encourages NGEs to use Indian orbital resources and/or non-Indian orbital resources to establish space objects for communication services over India and outside, as well as to operate space objects, ground-based assets, and related services such as communication, remote sensing, and navigation.
  • The policy also encourages NGEs to design and develop reusable, recoverable, and reconfigurable space transportation technologies and systems. This includes the manufacture and operation of launch vehicles and space shuttles.

Commercial Recovery of Space Resources:

The Indian Space Policy-2023 also allows NGEs to engage in the commercial recovery of asteroid or space resources. Any NGE engaged in such a process shall be entitled to possess, own, transport, use, and sell any such asteroid or space resource obtained in compliance with applicable law, including the obligations of India under international treaties.

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.


The Indian government’s 2020 space sector reforms, which culminated in the Indian Space Policy-2023, mark a significant milestone in the nation’s efforts to encourage private participation and advance the development of advanced space technologies.India is prepared to further solidify its position in the 21st century space industry with the implementation of the policy.

In the Long Run, Wastewater May Be Useful


  • The availability and quality of freshwater are major global issues that pose a threat to the planet’s ability to support life. The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) recently published an independent study that highlighted some of India’s serious water issues.
  • The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has provided some useful solutions in its study, “Reuse of Treated Wastewater in India: Market Potential and Recommendations for Strengthening Governance”.
  • According to the UN Waste Water Assessment Programme report, high-income nations treat about 70% of the produced wastewater. In upper-middle-income countries, the ratio falls to 38%, in lower-middle-income countries to 28%, and in low-income countries to 8%. Around 20% of the world’s wastewater is treated as a result of this.


GS Paper-3: different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage; Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Mains Question

According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board, India only treats 28% of the total sewage that is produced daily from its urban areas. Provide a suggestion for the waste water reuse strategy’s future. (250 Words).

Highlights of the CEEW Report:

  • The report noted that India only treats 28% of the total sewage it generates daily from its urban areas, based on data from the Central Pollution Control Board from 2021.
  • Only 20,236 mld of the 72,368 mld of sewage produced in these areas each day is actually treated. Only 30% of the estimated 38,254 mld of sewage produced by Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, which account for 72% of the urban population, is actually treated.According to the report, India will produce more than 35,000 million cubic metres of wastewater by 2050, and only 10 States currently have policies for the reuse of treated wastewater.
  • Using estimates from the Central Water Commission, the CEEW researchers determined that 11 of the 15 major river basins are likely to experience water stress by 2025.
  • They considered it “essential to explore alternative sources of water to address the demand-supply gap.”

Potential for Reusing Wastewater:

  • The scientists believed that there was a “tremendous potential” for doing so.
  • “Using treated wastewater for irrigation in 2021 would have saved 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 5 crore in fertiliser use, and could have generated 28 million metric tonnes of fruit and vegetable produce and 96600 crore in revenue in 2021 alone.”
  • “If a mechanism to sell treated wastewater to specific sectors is developed, the market value of treated wastewater in India will be Rs 83 crore in 2025 and Rs 190 crore in 2050.”

Reusing wastewater has several advantages, including:

Lowering water bills, using less water, watering the garden during dry spells, reducing pollution in waterways, saving money on new water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure, and reducing demand on sewage transport, treatment, and disposal infrastructure, allowing it to function more effectively and last longer.

Way Forward

  • The best course of action is to change the paradigm surrounding policymaking and acknowledge wastewater as a crucial component of water resources that must be taken into account in all plans for water management.
  • Establish water quality standards: Clear standards for water quality are required for both safe discharge and reuse.
  • Create institutional mechanisms: Urban local bodies should have the authority to create and adopt long-term plans for the reuse of wastewater at the city level. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined, and end-user groups should be actively involved.
  • Invest in technological advancements: Specific funding should be set aside for wastewater treatment technology research and development, which can maximise resource efficiency. State governments must announce a detailed plan for this area of research and development.
  • Optimal use of financial resources: wastewater treatment plant operators and end users should receive targeted performance-based incentives, and an efficient pricing mechanism should be established, taking into account various end-user categories and their ability to pay.
  • Including the general public as a stakeholder: In order to foster public trust and generate responses for the successful implementation of wastewater reuse projects, responsible authorities should develop effective public outreach plans.

March 2024