Though India’s approach to space has been pragmatic, it is hindered by a lackadaisical approach by policymakers. India must recognize the stagnancy and myopia of its space program and come up with a long-term vision.
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If its space assets are used effectively, India could have a formidable fleet of five to 10 satellites dedicated for military use and dozens more for the advancement of its economy.
Technology is changing the face of global conflict. With cyber attacks, biotechnology, unmanned robotics and weaponry designed to cripple the armies of the last era, small independent groups and previously less-powerful governments will gain the ability to assert more power.
The success of satellite technology in Operation Geronimo and the failure of India’s satellite architecture to identify the accident site of the helicopter carrying the Arunachal Chief Minister raise questions about the quality of India’s sensor technology and satellite imagery interpretation expertise.
While Chinese space programme is leagues ahead of India's space activities, Indian policymakers are yet to realise the advantages of space technology as a frontier for exploration, communication and warfare.
The paper suggests solar satellites as a joint project between the US and India as a possible vehicle to take the partnership to the next level
China and India are ready with their plans, this time with automated spacecraft.