Image courtesy of ISRO.

In the annual budget released by India’s Ministry of Finance on February 1, the Department of Space has been allocated 139.4909 billion rupees (roughly US$1.91 billion).

The newly established NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) — the commercial arm of ISRO that seeks to increase government-industry cooperation — has been allocated 7 billion rupees (roughly US$96 million). The Company will spearhead the commercialisation of space products including “productionisation of launch vehicles, transfer of technologies and marketing of space products”.

The also-new Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) — a single window nodal agency which
will permit and oversee the activities of Non-Government Private Entities, including building of launch vehicles, satellites, providing space based services, sharing of space infrastructure etc — will receive roughly US$1.37 million.

The main chunk of the budget goes to Space Technology: primary activities of all the ISRO Centres including the Human Spaceflight Centre (HSFC), as well as space technology projects undertaken by the Department consisting of Launch Vehicle Projects & Satellite Projects, both in development and already operational.

ISRO’s most amibitious missions come under the Space Science Programmes which include Sponsored Research (RESPOND), Sensor Payload Development/Planetary Science Programme, Climate and Atmospheric Programme, Small Satellite for Atmospheric Studies and Astronomy, Space Science Promotion, Aditya-L1, Indian Lunar Mission (Chandrayaan-III), X-Ray Polarimeter Mission (XpoSat) and Space Docking Experiment Mission. The Space Science Programmes have been allocated roughly US$37.6 million.

The Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology (IIST), an autonomous body, saw a significant increase (24%) in budget over last year, signifying ISRO’s commitment to investing in human resource. The IIST is a scientific organization providing advanced education with undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral programmes in the area of space science, technology and applications.

The budget for the headquarters has been reduced — it is allocated for the operational and administrative expenses, setting up of Digital workflow systems & Spacenet Augmentation, support for conferences, symposia, ISRO Award Scheme, Major Works and Housing.

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