The delivery of five Rafale fighter jets this week demonstrates the continued upgrading of India’s military capabilities. A key part of this process has been the building of a domestic defence-industrial base by promoting participation of the private sector. Bringing certainty to defence procurement, monitoring emerging technologies and joining hands with like-minded countries, will play a critical role in taking this forward.
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The world is experiencing two simultaneous transformations: a decoupling from China and the building of an alternate supply chain, and the creation of new, cutting-edge industrial process called digital manufacturing. It is part of the larger wave of Industry 4.0, an integration of industrial processes with the Internet of Things. India already has some of the key elements in place, and some successes to build on.
After the strategic digital pushback against Chinese investments and apps, India should turn its attention to the biggest Chinese domination tool – 5G. This is the mother lode that enables the efficient gathering of data, which when mined, results in product enhancement and pricing benefits to products listed in China 2025 and helps China set global standards. There is an urgency for alternate suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.
The government’s recent reforms in the space sector have unleashed the imagination, innovation and potential of Indian space start-ups. Strong support from the private sector and inherent Indian technological aptitude will help them fuel India’s space ambitions and economic growth in the 21st Century.
The shifting trends in trade, especially given the growth in communications capacity and reduced cost of computing have altered traditional economic development. India and Canada have a shared commercial interest in E-trade. Both countries need to align their resources to frame trade rules of the new digital economy, to mutual benefit.
Dr. Chaitanya Giri, Fellow, Space & Ocean Studies Programme, Gateway House was in conversation with Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director, Gateway House on, India's Space Sector reform: An Opportunity for Business.
Yesterday's path-breaking reforms in India's space sector by the Prime Minister's Office, and establishment of new space agencies, are geared to encourage technology innovation and direct participation by corporations, startups and MSMEs. The reforms will help India leverage Industry 4.0 and the astropolitics that will result. This podcast foreshadows these developments.
The launch of the U.S.’s Dragon-2 astronaut capsule by SpaceX has a resonance in India too. India’s future heavy-lift launchers, already under development, can be competitive if they are transformed to Two-Stage-To-Orbit and made reusable. The successors to Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan, developed in public-private partnerships, can result in a vast domestic launch market for India’s heavy-lift rocket capability.
With more than 130 and 119 million users respectively, Chinese apps such as UC Browser and TikTok are not merely internet products, but serious content aggregators in India. But the final control of data collected by these apps resides in China, and this creates a grave risk to national security.
On 16 May, the government introduced a huge reform that liberalised India's space sector, leveling the field and propelling the space ambitions of private players. Corporations such as L&T and Godrej Aerospace, can now compete and collaborate with the Indian Space Research Organisation, to build an indigenous Boeing or Lockheed Martin, and be part of global, private, space industry syndicates. The timing is significant, as the space race has accelerated with the U.S. and China marking their space territories through Accords and SEZs. India now is much better equipped to launch its space agenda. This paper analyses India's future potential.