The newly created New Space India Ltd (NSIL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under
Department of Space, seems to be drifting like a stricken satellite in outer space. It is more than two years since this new outfit was created with a vision to provide space-related products and
services flowing or emanating from the Indian Space Programme to global customers and to spur the growth of Indian Industry in undertaking technologically challenging
NSIL has been set up to function as a nodal agency for carrying out PSLV production through Indian Industry under the consortium route. The industry consortium will be responsible for producing, assembling and integrating the launch vehicle, by making use of the existing ISRO facilities under GOCO model.
NSIL also has the mandate to provide transponder capacity in C, Ku, Ka and S band on INSAT / GSAT fleet of satellite to Indian users for various SATCOM based broadcasting and telecom services like DTH, TV, DSNG, VSAT, etc. NSIL is also mandated to provide Remote Sensing Services and Mission Support Services to the global users.
NSIL charter includes, catering to emerging global small satellite launch service market by opening the avenues for the development and manufacture of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) through Indian Industry partners.
NSIL, with technical support of ISRO, is also supposed to create a fully functional ecosystem in India for building satellite systems, subsystems and ground infrastructure by engaging the private and corporate sector
Ten ISRO communication satellites owned by the President of India have already been transferred to NSIL and around 800 crores of business has been generated by transferring all new transponder leases to it. Still, the Department of Space has not deemed it fit to give this company a regular Board. All that it has are a few government directors from ISRO and DoS sitting on its Board and a Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) – nominated by the Chairman ISRO and approved by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). When fully constituted, NSIL Board is supposed to comprise of 9 Directors. Apart from the CMD, 2 Government (nominee) Directors and 2 ISRO (nominee) Directors, it should also have Director Finance and 3 Independent Directors.
NSIL is a Schedule A category company under DoS and rightfully it should have got a CMD appointed through the Public Enterprises Selection Board but ISRO still acts as if this company can be run the way Antrix Corporation was run.
It is doubtful whether or not NSIL has an MOU with the Department of Public Enterprises like other PSU’s and it definitely has no Board level committee to oversee contracts, corporate governance, finance etc and left to drift this way without proper superintendence and accountability, another Antrix Devas like scam will not be far away. Will the PMO take note and act?
Check: Antrix Devas scam and more