The adoption of drones is widely increasing across industries worldwide. The next decade is expected to witness a drone revolution, and India can't afford to miss strengthening their manufacturing potential. So, the government of India has launched several schemes in the past three years to support the domestic production of drones in India.
In this blog, we will dive deeper into the government schemes that have supported the R&D drone technology for further innovation.
Drone Shakti Scheme
With this scheme, the union budget has promoted drones with the help of startups and also pushed the skills related to drones at Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). This scheme will facilitate startups to become "Drone Shakti" in various settings and also aid in drone-as-a-service(DrAAS). Under the Drone Shakti Scheme, various courses have started at ITIs across all states.
Various enterprises can leverage DrAAS for their various services from drone companies. This allows enterprises to fulfill their requirements without investing in drone hardware, software, pilots, and other training programs.
There are endless possibilities for using drones as a service across industries, such as agriculture, telecom, transport, insurance, oil & gas, wildlife, disaster management, forest, defense, and law. Recently, the government of India has promoted Kisan Drones, which may provide a huge boost to drone usage in the agriculture sector.
Draft Drone Rules 2021
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has unveiled the drone rule, which replaced the existing rule. This aims to create a business-friendly digital sky platform, which will simplify the various approvals. This will have minimal human interface on this platform, and one doesn't need to indulge in various steps for permissions.
One needs to pay a nominal fee, irrespective of drone size, for approvals, such as maintenance certificate, import clearance, conformance certificate, operating permit, student remote pilot license, etc.
Moreover, this platform has developed an airspace map consisting of three zones: red, yellow, and green. This draws a flying area. So, one doesn't need permission to fly 400 feet in the green zone and 200 feet between 8 to 12 km of the airport perimeter. No pilot license is required for noncommercial uses and for R&D organizations.
Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti
The Government of India has also incorporated drones in its "Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti" to bolster technological advancement in the defense sector. The drone has helped the defense sector to gather real-time data and conduct surveillance in sensitive border areas or conflict zones.
The dense sector has paved the way for technological advancement, such as sensor systems, AI capabilities, advanced images, and aiding in continuous monitoring. Moreover, this also helps in search and rescue operations, covering many areas in less time.
Production-Linked Incentive (PLI)
This government scheme is one of the biggest contributors towards boosting domestic manufacturing across various settings. It was launched in 2020, catering to only three industries. This scheme aims to reduce imports and improve employment generation; however, companies are still importing drone parts.
This scheme is later extended to 14 sectors, and they will be awarded financial incentives if the companies reduce their import dependence and enhance their production capabilities, promoting local manufacturing.
The drone company will get direct incentives from the government budget if they manufacture goods in India. This scheme has invited foreign companies to set up their manufacturing unit in India and improve domestic production.
This scheme has encouraged entrepreneurs to make an effort to build drones, components, and software for the global market in India. It is vital to know that currently, 90% of drones are imported into India.
Kisan Drone Yatra
Technology is as helpful for farmers as other industries, making agriculture more profitable. So, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Kisan Drone Yatra to support farmers in agriculture development.
In this scheme, 100 Kisan drones were launched from various places to spray pesticides in the field, addressing the issue in rural areas. This enables a new dynamic in the farming sector, and many farmers can leverage this technology to increase their income to nearly double.
Drone can help them monitor crops and spray the required amount of pesticides over the crops, ensuring a better quality crop with less effort.
The Bottom Line!
The Indian government has taken significant strides in supporting and nurturing the advancement of drone technology through various commendable schemes introduced in recent years. These initiatives, including the Drone Shakti Scheme, Draft Drone Rules 2021, Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti, Production-Linked Incentive (PLI), and events like Def Connect 2019, collectively aim to propel the domestic production, research, and application of drones in multifaceted sectors.
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