Tag Archives: private sector

ISRO and the path to reform the space sector

Lalit Shastri

The wheels of the government machinery move quite fast during crisis situation. One such move is the reorganization of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by the government of India. The Finance Minister has announced in her economic package that the Private Sector will be allowed to compete on a level playing field in the Space Sector. Other reforms also may be on the anvil such as splitting the post of Secretary Department of Space (DoS) and chairman ISRO and shifting the DoS secretariat (HQ) from Bengaluru to Delhi, corporatising the assets of ISRO in a public sector company and making ISRO a pure R&D set up. Allowing of the Private Sector participation in the space programme is a welcome move. Despite the PM’s assurance on the floor of the Parliament that the first PSLV from the industry would fly in 2020, ISRO never really got its act together and tenders are a far cry as there was tremendous resistance from the top. Obviously, if change doesn’t come from within, the government will naturally be forced to act. The same is true of the Space Activities Bill which was ready in 2016 and whose circulation was approved by the Space Commission and the even the PMO. The draft once again was put through a group of scientists with a myopic view and the draft BIll now bears no resemblance to the original. Make no mistake, if the Space Sector has to be opened up, it needs a strong legal framework with an even stronger independent regulatory mechanism – not one which becomes a sinecure for retired ISRO scientists. It is also necessary to ensure there is no geo-spatial information cartel of ex-ISRO functionaries. At the same time, a trail blazing institution like ISRO should not be broken up and swallowed by corporates that are eyeing it’s considerable manpower, assets and intellectual property.

 

US Secretary of State Pompeo talks about China and how it presents itself as a “threat today”

Newsroom24x7 Network

Washington DC: The US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has expressed serious concern regarding the challenge posed by China and linked it directly to national security imperative.

Pompeo was addressing Business Executives for National Security (BENS) Gala and Awards Ceremony in Washington on 30 April 2019.

Whether it’s the work that they’re doing to install their technology and networks inside of “your business or our country or those of your partners, or whether it’s their efforts to out-compete the United States of America, but with not a competitive objective but rather a national security imperative. – Michael R. Pompeo, the US Secretary of State

At Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC, April 30, 2019

Pompeo referred to his conversation with Henry Kissinger and said when he was the US Secretary of State and dealing with China, he believed that if the economy grew and democracy would surely follow in China. And we’ve seen that that has just simply not proven to be the case.

Speaking of day-to-day challenges and reflecting upon his experience as a small business owner, when he sold products in China and purchased materials from China, the US Secretary of State said the challenge from that country is very different today.

Pompeo set the tone of his discourse by stating whether it’s the work that they were doing to install their technology and networks inside of “your business or our country or those of your partners, or whether it’s their efforts to out-compete the United States of America, but with not a competitive objective but rather a national security imperative, and the advantages they face in some of those challenge – battle spaces, because the idea of a private sector entity is literally foreign to them”.

Sharing his concern further, Pompeo remarked “We have a separation between government and private sector that they simply don’t have, and that has real implications for the US leaders tasked with defending America today.”

On the US business and how it’s engaged in commerce in China, Pompeo said – we watch the massive human rights violations in Xinjiang, where there are over a million people being held in a humanitarian crisis that is the scale of what took place in the 1930s, and we see American businesses and their technology being used to help facilitate that activity from the Chinese Government – it’s something worthy of thinking about.

Pompeo concluded his remarks by stating: “As we work to figure out how to deal with China – a billion and a half people that provide very important markets for the United States of America, and yet a country that at the same time presents enormous risk over the coming years and decades – to help all of us think about the right way to approach this and how it is the case that we can achieve our national security objective while ensuring that America continues to grow and prosper and our private sector crushes them every place that we compete.”