The agency is also in talks with the University Grants Commission (UGC). Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the plans to introduce these courses during the formal inauguration of IN-SPACe headquarters earlier this month.
Aside from an introductory course on space technology, Vinod Kumar, director, directorate of promotions, IN-SPACe, told TOI: “There will be four courses: Launch vehicle and propulsion system; spaceflight mechanics and attitude dynamics; Spacecraft systems engineering and Space data products and services. Further, there’s an optional course on space economics, law and policy and benefits. We are targetting January 2023.”
According to IN-SPACe all these courses have been jointly conceived with IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram.
“We are trying to introduce these courses at multiple academic institutions, including engineering colleges across the country. So far, IIT-B and IIT-M are working with us and we are also in talks with the UGC chairperson who is also interested. Formal presentations and discussions with UGC are planned in the coming months,” Kumar said.
IN-SPACe, which was created after the Centre announced space reforms about two years ago, will also be holding a national-level nanosatellite competition — CANSAT India — for college students to create awareness.
“As our larger objective is to enable the industry, the designing of the courses have been done keeping in mind the requirements of the private sector,” Kumar said.
Also, other than working closely with the private companies to enable them get access to Isro facilities and technologies while also hand-holding them in building their own, IN-SPACe has also initiated the process of creating a directory of former Isro scientists and engineers that can be used by the private sector.
The agency has sought, as reported earlier by TOI, information of retired/resigned S&T (science-and-tech) personnel of department of space (DoS) or Isro centres or units along with their willingness to be approached by non-governmental entities (NGEs).
IN-SPACe had pointed out that the private sector needs help as it won’t have the luxury of spending as much time as Isro did to achieve what it has. And it was in this background that it found that there were many well qualified and trained scientists who are not with Isro anymore but would be willing to contribute.