Bill on commercialization of space activities likely in 2019

The government is likely to introduce the Space Activities Bill, 2017, which will allow commercial use of space, in the budget session of 2019.

Features of Space activities bill 2017:

  • It is a proposed Bill to promote and regulate the space activities of India.
  • The new Bill encourages the participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India under the guidance and authorisation of the government through the Department of Space.
  • The provisions of this Act shall apply to every citizen of India and to all sectors engaged in any space activity in India or outside India.
  • A non-transferable licence shall be provided by the Central Government to any person carrying out commercial space activity.
  • The Central Government will formulate the appropriate mechanism for licensing, eligibility criteria, and fees for licence.
  • The government will maintain a register of all space objects (any object launched or intended to be launched around the earth) and develop more space activity plans for the country.
  • It will provide professional and technical support for commercial space activity and regulate the procedures for conduct and operation of space activity.
  • It will ensure safety requirements and supervise the conduct of every space activity of India and investigate any incident or accident in connection with the operation of space activity.
  • It will share details about the pricing of products created by space activity and technology with any person or any agency in a prescribed manner.
  • If any person undertakes any commercial space activity without authorization they shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or fined more than ₹1 crore or both.
  • There is a need for national space legislation for supporting the overall growth of the space activities in India. This would encourage enhanced participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India, in compliance with international treaty obligations, which is becoming very relevant today.
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