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OCT 2021/01
Unified voice for Satellite Communication Industry in India

Dear Patrons,

"Tech women in space- Paving the way for the Next Gen" a break-through session held by SIA-India at the World Space Week on 5th October 2021 was a resounding success. World Space Week is conducted by UN as an annual event with participation from over 96 countries. This year the theme was 'Women in Space'.

The all women panel was moderated by Ms Aarti Holla-Maini, Secretary General-ESOA. The virtual discussion between eminent speakers in the Space Industry in India and Europe was well attended by more than 150 participants from India, USA, UK, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Lithuania. The panelists deliberated upon the way women are taking their rightful place in empowering the private space industry and the way forward for the youngsters and students interested in the space sciences domain.

India needs more celebration of women role models in these areas to portray this as a natural space for women and not an exception. The panelists at the discussion are the perfect examples of excellence, hard work and ambition. They have reached the peak of their careers and are leading from the front.

The Hon'ble Prime Minister in a recent address to industry leaders talked about woman workforce in the space ecosystem and the importance of having women coming to the forefront of the Space ecosystem. The women led team of the ISRO project Mangalyan [Mission Orbital Mission] is an example to be followed.

Highlights of the discussion during the SIA-India panel at 'World Space Week - "Women in Space" were:

  • India is taken very seriously on the global Space stage and possess immense talent but has a long way to go in terms of promoting women in leadership positions.
  • In ISRO, despite having several successful women heading rocket programs and satellite program, not single women in last 5 decades have headed any major ISRO centers or become the chairperson of ISRO. This needs to change.
  • This generation has the capacity and capability to raise the bar even higher and think beyond 5 trillion economy. They need to inculcate the spirit of innovation and motivate the youngsters to join the space ecosystem.
  • Students are the main element for consideration under capacity building and nurturing and enabling them should be one of the main focuses of the industry academia and government.
  • India has a huge talent bank in science, technology, engineering and mathematics however, much work remains to be done to bring about gender equality and developing soft skills.
  • India needs to change its examination centric approach to have an effective education system to attract innovative minds.
The all-women panel had Ms. Aarti Holla Maini, Secretary General, ESOA, as the moderator. The speakers were: Dr. Ms. VR Lalithambika, Head of Human Space Program, ISRO, Dr. Susmita Mohanty, Spaceship Designer and CEO, Earth2Orbit, Ms. Neelu Khatri, SVP Govt Affairs, Akasa Air, and Ms. Jenna Tiwana, Aerospace Engineer, Global Team-SpaceTide.

"India is taken very seriously on the global Space stage and possess immense talent too but has a long way to go in terms of promoting women in leadership positions no matter how talented they are."
Ms. Aarti Holla Maini, is the secretary General at ESOA.
"Women need to take more responsible roles at ISRO, there is 20% women at ISRO and this ratio is going to get better in coming times".
Dr. Ms. VR Lalithambika, Head of Human Space Program, ISRO
"In last 20 years, ISRO and NASA have the best gender ratio in the world. But despite having several successful women heading rocket programs, satellite program in India, not a single women in last 5 decades have headed any major ISRO centers or become the chairperson of ISRO."
Dr. Susmita Mohanty, Spaceship Designer and CEO, Earth2Orbit
"I come as a hope for students and youngsters who are not from engineering background and could still do a lot in the space sector. Being in IAF gave me a lot of confidence and it wasn't easy to be in a male dominated workplace in the beginning"
Ms. Neelu Khatri, SVP Govt Affairs, Akasa Air
"It is not as linear to pick up a career path and it requires a bit of planning, a good mentor, passion, risk. One needs to be flexible and adaptive to adjust to any culture and space. Finding a balance between your dreams and gut instinct is important".
Ms. Jenna Tiwana, Aerospace Engineer, Ex-Bain & Co, Global team, Spacetide
SIA India Meeting Updates:

The first meeting of the Committee on Space Infrastructure was held on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. The main objective of the committee is to deliberate, plan and execute actions for "Creating an ecosystem for all stakeholders of space sector for design development, manufacturing, industrial collaboration and role of Space parks, Large Enterprises and ancillary industries."

DG connect:

"All spectrum-related matters should be brought to the fore as part a consultative process. The enormous economic and social benefits that the existing utilization that satellite can bring to the country as well as its ability to serve national policy to bridge the digital divide and to bring about nationwide broadband services to all citizen of India through utilizing satellite systems is vital to the country's progress"
Anil Prakash (Director General- SIA-India)
The fortnight at a glance:
India poised to become a major Satcom hub by 2030
The space industry in India has taken a huge leap ahead with fresh policy initiatives and reforms. The government's decision in June 2020 to unlock the Space Sector, followed by the announcement to finally open the 'Space' for private players to be co-travelers in the country's...
'India's space sector can add significantly to economy but greater participation of women needed'
India's space sector can contribute significantly to achieve the target of a $5 trillion dollar economy, however, there is a greater need for participation from women in the sector, said industry...
Satcom group seeks participation in Trai's consultation process for spectrum auction
Satellite communications or satcom players, fearing to lose mmWave band to telecom carriers, have asked the sector regulator to allow their participation in the upcoming consultation process...
Tech women in space paving way for next generation
World Space Week is a UN-declared celebration of space held annually, between 4-10 October. In this regard, Satcom Industry Association (SIA) India, organized the tech women in space seminar today...
Industry group seeks mmWave band for satellite broadband services
The letter from satellite lobby group has come close on the heels of the telecom department (DoT) seeking views of the sector regulator to put 26GHz and 28GHz band airwaves on sale for next...
India and the geopolitics of the moon
A year ago, eight countries led by the United States signed the so-called Artemis Accords. The accords are an agreement to abide by a broad set of principles to guide the expanding human activity on the moon – ranging from mining resources to setting up lunar colonies...
SpaceX to focus on 10 rural Lok Sabha constituencies for 80% of Starlink terminals shipped to India: India head
SpaceX will shortly apply to the Indian government for a licence to launch its Starlink satellite broadband services in the country and is aiming to touch 200,000 active terminals by December 2022...
Musk, Bezos to take on Ambani's Jio, Mittal' Airtel with satellite-based internet services
Elon Musk's Starlink and Jeff Bezos' Amazon are in separate talks with India's telecom department and space department to offer satellite-based high-speed broadband internet...
ISRO and Bhutan's Dept of telecom signs contract to jointly develop a small satellite
Kamboj said the joint development was envisioned during the state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Thimphu in 2019...
..... Forthcoming Events .....

OCT 21-23


SCAT India Show 2021


OCT 26-28


CABSAT 2021 Dubai


NOV 16-18


Space Tech Expo 2021


NOV 16-17


Asia Video Summit

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