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Budget 2018 allocates Rs 89.6 bn to Dept of Space for satellite launches

Centre seeks to attain self-sufficiency in launch vehicles, for disaster control, mapping natural resources

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Budget 2018 Isro

The Centre has allocated around Rs 107.83 billion to the in the Union for 2018-19 against 2017-18's Rs 91.55 billion, as per the revised estimates. The allocation includes around Rs 89.63 billion for various space related projects of in the 2018-19 and also the targets to be achieved in the next fiscal.

While the allocation is slightly lower than expected, considering that is trying to increase its launches, experts pointed out this should be viewed in the backdrop of Isro's efforts to partner with private industries and augment the revenue of

The Output Outcome Framework for Schemes 2018-19 shows the allocation will be towards preparing launch vehicles and satellites, which would help the country, especially during disasters.

Of the Rs 89.63 billion, major chunk of around Rs 65.76 billion has been budgeted toward R&D and realising spacecrafts and launch vehicles. These include, three earth observation space-crafts, four flights, one MK-III flight and one

The Centre wants to augment the space to provide continunity of EO services with improved capabilities. It also seeks to ensure operational launch services for domestic and commercial satellites and is targetting self-sufficiency in launching 2.5-3 and 4-tonne class of communication satellites into Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit.

In order to obtain information on optimal management of natural resources, natural disasters, agricultural planning, planning and access to basic service in rural areas, the Centre wants to send nine EO/ communications payloads, information support for five disaster events, 8,500 maps to support national missions and users projects and 300,000 value-added products disseminated to users. The outlay for this has been earmarked at Rs 17.46 billion.

For space science missions and interplanetary expeditions, Rs 2.3 billion has been earmarked for releasing India's Lunar Mission/ and readiness of two sub-systems for

Lastly, Rs 4.11 billion has been earmarked to complete and launch of two communication satellites during the year. This would augment and support the existing services to telecommunications/ television broadcasting, disaster communication, and tele-health services. 

Ratan Shrivastava, an expert and independent Consultant in Defence, Aerospace & Space noted has been exploring partnerships with the private sector for satellites and launch vehicles, in order to bring down its capital cost. We should also remember Corporation's, the commercial arm of Isro, revenue has been increasing year on year.
In 2016-17, Antrix's turnover increased to Rs 19.23 billion from Rs 18.60 billion, during the same period a year ago. PAT rose to Rs 2.09 billion as compared to Rs 2.05 billion during the previous year.

has been enhancing its capacity to increase the frequency of launches to 12 per year from the seven at present ever year.

Earlier, was doing 2-3 launches per year, then it increased it to 4-5, in the last few years it is around seven launches a year.

This means need next generation launchers and new facilities to make them and launch them, including a new launch pad at the spaceport of Sriharikotta, near Chennai. The second vehicle assembly building at Sriharikota launch centre, which would help increase launches, should be ready in a couple of months.
 
A snapshot of allocations to Dept of Space
S.No Area BE 2016-17 RE 2016-17 BE 2017-18
1 Space Technology        52.35 55.94 60.84
2 Space Applications 10.34 11.27 17.88
3 INSAT Operational    7.96 8.07 5.79
4 Space Sciences    2.88 3.01 3.98
5 Direction & Administration and Other Programmes 1.54 2.14 2.43
  Total 75.09 80.45 90.93
Figures in Rs billion. Source: Isro

First Published: Fri, February 02 2018. 13:03 IST
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