India’s preparedness in the decade of the 2020s for the imminent revolution in space affairs depends on mastering Industry 4.0. This is critical as space aspirations now define national interests – a marked change from the vanity-and-pride programmes of the first space age. This will also determine India’s space leadership for the rest of the 21st century
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On his visit to the Russian Far East this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured Russia’s assistance in training India’s human spaceflight crew ahead of the launch of Gaganyaan in 2021-2022. French assistance for India has come in the form of its specialised knowledge of space medicine. Gaganyaan has thus become an India-Russia-France megaproject, a symbol of India’s futuristic space diplomacy
Chandrayaan-2’s postponed launch is no cause for disappointment. It gives India a chance to draw in the skills of the private sector to accelerate heavy-lift rocket manufacturing
On 15 July, the Indian space programme will achieve a feat with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Two challenges lie ahead: the speedy construction of Chandrayaan-3 and the development of a public-private ecosystem of space capabilities
The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, needs deeper analyses. Its over-emphasis on imaging overlooks the potential clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management.
With Misson Shakti, India is now part of a rarefied club of global space powers which have demonstrated capability for missile-based anti-satellite weapons
A grand achievement is a series of smaller, well-defined, and precise accomplishments. If the vision of putting an Indian on the moon has to materialise, it should be preceded by several smaller projects and diverse institutions meeting definite targets. What would these targets be? Where does India’s scientific community stand in meeting them as of this day? What kind, and how much, additional capacity needs to be added to the Indian science sector to put an Indian on the moon?
Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons. In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
Ownership of lunar artifacts – objects left behind by space missions – will become a vexing issue as the international footprint on the Moon grows. Such archaeological objects may be designated ‘national heritage’, but the site on which they exist ought to remain ‘a global common’, and not become a point of territorial contestation. The Moon needs to be managed by global consensus, prudence and realism.
Border regions and communities, some of them far from the heartland, constitute India’s first line of defence, a critical link in its national security. India’s 15,000-km borders touch seven neighbouring countries: Afghanistan (abutting Gilgit), Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Border regions have their own local dynamics, often shaped by subnational and religious identities that do not necessarily align neatly with political borders. Some also serve as flourishing corridors for illegal smuggling of goods and humans. Technology plays an important role in better protecting borders, but in some cases it has made borders obsolete. Despite their importance, border regions do not receive the full attention of the Indian mainstream, except when border tensions arise.