3. What are the strategic implications of indigenising space technology? Examine.
अंतरिक्ष प्रौद्योगिकी के स्वदेशीकरण के रणनीतिक निहितार्थ क्या हैं? जांच करें।
Space technology has become an essential part of daily life and it’s hard to picture what a life without space tech would be like. Vast is the range of spin-off benefits derived from the advancement of space technology such areas as mapping the natural resources through remote sensing, telecommunication, television and weather forecasting.
Indian Space Agency ISRO is making desperate attempts to indigenizing current space technology. It is developing its rockets, cryogenic engines, navigation and communication satellites.
The Indian space scientists have contributed a lot to the indigenization of space technology. Some remarkable achievements in recent times have been the launching of CHANDRAYAAN-2, A-SAT, IRNSS (NavIC), MANGALYAAN, GSLV Mark III to name a few.
The strategic implications of indigenising space technology:
- Autonomy: Indigenization leads to less dependency on other countries to launch communications satellites. Dependency on foreign suppliers produces helplessness like the high cost of maintenance and inventories and the danger of deficit of spares later in the life cycle. Dependency curbs strategic autonomy.
- Enhanced Global image: Advancement in indigenous space technologies leads to the enhanced global image of the country.
- Data Security: Sensitive data such as military operations will be limited to the home country only. Eg. India will now use its navigation system NavIC instead of GPS made by the US.
- Real-Time Data: Country will get real-time data for weather and military purposes without relying on other countries which may have vested interests.
- Improved bilateral relations: Indigenization of space technology improves bi-lateral relation with countries who don’t have these advanced technologies and want to launch their satellites.
- Support to Neighboring Countries: India can provide telecommunication and navigation services beyond Indian boundaries catering to the population of South East Asia to the Middle East.
- Recognition in global forum: Self-sufficiency of information and indigenous space technology will give voice and recognition to the country on global forums.
- Commercial Gains: Till now, India has paid commercial rates to other countries to launch its communications satellites. Now India can commercially produce and even launch a satellite for other countries and can in-cash the indigenously developed world-class capabilities.
- Suitability with local needs: Technology can be developed as per local and regional needs. Ex. NavIC can be used in regional languages, unlike GPS which has limited language options.
It is a well-established that no nation can become hopeful to attain a great power status without being practically self-reliant in space technology. In the long run, given the geopolitical realities, 100% Indigenization of space tech has to be a core strategic policy for India.