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ISRO to go for insurance cover of satellites: Nair

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Nov 24: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would consider buying insurance cover for the future launches despite the high cost involved in it, ISRO Chairman G Madnavan Nair has said.

Speaking at the Customers' Meet of National Insurance Company to commemorate its 100 years of existence here last night, he said the prevailing premium rates was too expensive, be it for government or the private industry.

Insurance premium in space sector had gone up considerably. In the early 80s it was hardly about 10 per cent of the cost, but due to large failures encountered by many of the space craft manufacturers, either during the launch or in orbit, in the recent past the premium had gone up by 30 per cent. However, this year it had come down to 24 per cent.

He said ISRO was bombarded for the Rs 250 crore loss due to the recent GSLV failure for which we had no insurance. However, among all the launches made by ISRO during the last 10 years, there had been roughly 10 per cent failure which was comparable to international standards. Globally there had been 4000 odd launches and there had been 390 failures so far, he added.

ISRO, which had launched 40 satellites so far together costing 1300 million US Dollars, it paid a insurance premium of 180 million dollars.

Lauding the efforts of NIC in getting ISO 9001:2000 certification, Mr Nair said ISRO was also toying with the idea of getting the ISO certification. "Many of our processes are not directly amenable to it. But in some areas it could be implemented and this will help us to further improve our quality of work," he added.

NIC Chairman and Managing Director V Ramaswamy said the company as part of its centenary year celebrations would offer a health policy for elders between 60 to 85 years of age. The company had set a turnover target of Rs 3900 crore for the current year. Last year it had achieved Rs 3520 crore. So far this year it had a turnover of RS 2132 crore. The settlement ratio was at 75 per cent and it would be brought up to 85 per cent this year, he added.

He said that "with IRDA going ahead with de-trifling the Insurance sector the companies would themselves decide the premium rates and NIC was ready for the challenge."


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