ISC 2024 Witnesses Increased Women Participation

On the second day of the India Space Congress 2024, various technical sessions explored the opportunities offered to various Indian startups to increase their participation in India’s growth in the space domain besides increasing collaboration with various international players

By RA News Desk

Space

New Delhi. The organisers of the India Space Congress 2024, fully aware of the women engineers and techpreneurs in the Indian space ecosystem dedicated a special panel titled ‘Space for Women and Women for Space’, on the second day of the ISC, featuring trailblazing women in Indian space. They shared insights of their innovative projects, challenges, and visions, inspiring the next generation of women innovators and driving the industry forward.

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As per SIA-India, the organisers of the ISC 2024, a significant highlight of ISC 2024 was the notable increase in women’s participation, which surged by 15 percent over the last two editions. In addition the ISC 2024 various other technical sessions and panel discussions on engaging topics, including geospatial insights, standardisations, and space sustainability.

Dr Subba Rao Pavuluri, President of SIA-India, emphasised India’s aspiration to become a global hub for satellite manufacturing, contributing to a ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047. “India aims to integrate into the global supply chain, benefitting all through our advancements in satellite technology.” Dr Pavuluri stated.

Lt. Gen. PJS Pannu, former Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and chairman of Defence Space Committee SIA-India, highlighted the pivotal role of satellite technology in the Indian Army. He elaborated on the significance of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services, which provide real-time positioning, crucial for battlefield efficiency. He also stressed the importance of cyber security and space applications in defending against cyber attacks, enhancing operational effectiveness in modern warfare.

Indonesia and India have agreed to collaborate in the space ecosystem. Pasifik Satelite Nusantara (PSN), an Indonesian company specialising in space-based communication, and Elena Geo, an Indian company focusing on NavIC-based Multi GNSS Solutions, have partnered to leverage each other’s capabilities for solutions in the South Asian and ASEAN regions

Dadang Hidayat, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to India, shared insights on bilateral cooperation in space technology and its potential to drive innovation and economic growth.

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A significant announcement at the ISC 2024, Day 2 was the collaboration between Indonesia and India in the space sector. Pasifik Satelite Nusantara (PSN), an Indonesian company specialising in space-based communication, and Elena Geo, an Indian company focusing on NavIC-based Multi GNSS Solutions, have partnered to leverage each other’s capabilities for solutions in the South Asian and ASEAN regions. This collaboration has the potential to generate US $100 million in trade in the near future.

Dr Olivier Fink, CDA, Embassy of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, discussed space sustainability and Switzerland’s growth in the space industry.

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At the session titled ‘Switzerland Space’, Dr Fink presented the dynamic Swiss space ecosystem, emphasising opportunities for bottom-up collaborations and offering essential insights into establishing businesses in Switzerland. The Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement between India and the EFTA countries, including Switzerland, may open new areas of engagement.

At the session titled ‘Switzerland Space’, Dr Fink presented the dynamic Swiss space ecosystem, emphasising opportunities for bottom-up collaborations and offering essential insights into establishing businesses in Switzerland

The ISC 2024, Day 2 also featured a ‘Space Startup Mixer’ session, connecting entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and industry experts. This platform is dedicated to fuelling the ambitions of visionary startups, fostering collaboration, innovation, and the boundless potential of entrepreneurial endeavours. Motivating participants to unlock opportunities, access resources, and accelerate their paths to success in the Indian space industry.

Meanwhile, India is also working on a long-term plan under its ‘Vision 2047’, which has laid down a detailed plan for the country’s space programme for the next 25 years.

ISRO’s Chairman S Somanath stated earlier that the focus of the programme is to set up the Bharatiya Antariksh Station – India’s very own space station – expected to come up by 2035. The space agency aims to launch the first module, a basic version of the station, by 2028.

The space station will be placed in a low Earth orbit, designed to accommodate two to four astronauts in space. At present, only the US, China and Russia have sent space stations into orbit. India will become the fourth country with an independent station in space.

The ISC 2024, Day 2 also featured a ‘Space Startup Mixer’ session, connecting entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and industry experts, dedicated to fuelling the ambitions of visionary startups, fostering collaboration, innovation, and the boundless potential of entrepreneurial endeavours

Somanath also said that the space station, with its docking facilities, will enable ISRO to carry out more complicated interplanetary space missions, including lunar missions, which could bring samples back to Earth for experiments.

Apart from these high-priority projects, the space agency is also working on big-ticket missions including the Venus Mission – unofficially called Shukrayaan – and the Mars Orbiter Mission-2.