State-owned NewSpace creates a flutter among space startups

Prelims level : ISRO set up and its associated research centres Mains level :
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  • In early March, the small set of NewSpace entities in the country sat up in disbelief to see a state-run company taking birth in that name although it did not fit the standard definition of their league.


  • On March 6, the Department of Space (DoS) quietly registered its second commercial entity, NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL), in Bengaluru.
  • At the time, the small, new age ventures and startups foraying into the space industry were still coming to terms with the news of February 19 that the Union Cabinet had cleared a new business arm for DoS.
  • Surprise, because DoS already has a commercial venture, Antrix Corporation Limited, which was set up in September 1992 to market the products and services of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • While the government hasn’t said much about NSIL plans since the first announcement, officials in the DoS and ISRO have been trying to figure out how exactly Antrix and NSIL would operate their respective businesses in the common, niche area.
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