CHENNAI: Complimenting India’s rapid strides in the global space arena, the Union government allocated a record sum for the space sector. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) budget has crossed USD 100 billion (Rs 10,252 crore). In 2017-18, the actual allocation was Rs 8,053 crore, while in 2018-19 the revised estimate stood at Rs 9,918 crore.
As per the outlay on major schemes, funds were allocated under three heads i.e. space technology, space applications and INSAT satellite system. A total of Rs 7,483 crore was allotted to space technology as against the previous year’s Rs 6,993 crore. Allocation for space applications was a steep rise from Rs 1,595 crore to Rs 1,885 crore, while INSAT satellite system gets Rs 884 cr.
ISRO’s Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system is one of the largest domestic communication satellite systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
Boosted with 200 transponders, the system provides services to telecommunications, television broadcasting, satellite newsgathering, societal applications, weather forecasting, disaster warning and search and rescue operations.
While presenting the interim budget, Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Piyush Goyal, said, “The seventh dimension of our vision for the next decade aims at the outer skies. Our space programme - Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the world and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022, reflect this dimension of our vision.’’
ISRO chairman K Sivan had earlier said it planned 32 missions, including the “most complex” Chandrayaan-2 slated to be launched in April.
“The year 2019 promises to be much more challenging to the ISRO community with 32 planned missions (14 launch vehicles, 17 satellites and 1 Tech demo missions),” Sivan had said in a New Year message. Just a couple of days back, ISRO had unveiled the Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru.