Drones have become vital to the operations of many industries and government organisations across the world. With huge economic opportunity to be derived from the use, manufacture and sale of drones, the Indian government must refine policy and address regulatory lacunae to help boost both technology adoption and drone manufacture in India.
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Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have come under global scrutiny in recent months following their use to incite or misinform the public. For years, governments around the democratic world have not taken the responsibility to adequately regulate these platforms. Now that may be changing – and it won’t be easy.
India needs a policy mix that nurtures the Space 2.0 industry, secures it from hostile takeovers and predatory investments from overseas investors, and does not suffocate it under excessive protectionism.
With India now considering the creation of a policy to promote additive manufacturing, it is necessary to look at whether this new industry has a conducive regulatory environment, both at the domestic and global level. A key element of additive manufacturing is 3D, rapidly becoming a critical element in industrial and national security. Suitable regulation will ensure that countries that are heavily reliant on China for manufacturing, will have a chance to build their own industrial base
In preparing India for its G20 Presidency, domestic standards must be strengthened to reflect globally. The chaotic nature of the Global Digital Infrastructure requires a champion in standard setting and developing regulatory frameworks. India and Canada, both founding members of the Global Partnership on AI with the OECD may influence the multilateral system.
India has institutionalized a robust civilian-space agreement with the U.S. through the Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation in 2005 and added a military dimension to it in 2020 when it signed the U.S.-India BECA Agreement. The two countries should now partner to secure each other’s interest in the rapidly-maturing space economy sector.
The Space20 is the newest sub-forum of the G20 initiated by Saudi Arabia, with the support of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. India, on its way to the G20 presidency in 2022, should set a comprehensive Space20 agenda for the democratization of outer space, whereby it can share its space growth story with the developing world and achieve its goal to become a global knowledge epicenter.
Start-ups are the latest entrants in the defence manufacturing sector. They have greater access through the Innovations in Defence Excellence programme. The technologies developed by them will add to the Indian military’s operational and combat capabilities. Beyond the obvious market for the defence forces, there is also the huge homeland security market in India and abroad for the start-ups.
The depth and complexity of India’s digital citizenry and ecosystem puts it in a unique position to impact global rules on digital governance. An opportunity to assert its influence is coming up with India’s presidency of the G20 in 2022. Work on this agenda must begin now.
As the world enters the Second Space Age, an Indo-Emirati space partnership can be a lodestar for others. However, it is only the people-to-people connect and the diversity of the innovation linkages between the Emirati and Indian diaspora, that can truly make it a success for science and citizens, and help achieve their aspirations for the 21st century.