Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation today said that the government’s role has changed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and it is working as an enabler, and not a regulator, looking at a new approach of evidence-based policymaking for drones.
Addressing the session on Drones for Public Good – Mass Awareness Program, organized by FICCI, Shri Scindia said technology promotion is crucial and drone technology will bring those living at the margins to the centre of development. “Drones play a crucial role in connecting the people from the length and breadth of the country,” he said.
India as a country, said Shri Scindia, has generally been a follower in the evolution of innovation or technology. This is the first time we are looking at being leaders, said the Civil Aviation Minister.
The new drone rules, accompanied at a very short period with the PLI scheme for drones, gives the nascent industry of domestic manufacturing a huge boost. “A 40 per cent value addition threshold for the sector gives a unique advantage to get off to a flying start,” said Shri Scindia.
He further mentioned that for any technology to succeed it requires three steps- policy structure, funding incentive and demand structure. The Indian Government, he further stated, the Svamitva (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme plans to use drones to map thousands of villages which will give India’s drone industry a massive boost.
India has some very hard-to-reach territories and drones would be effective in providing vaccines, resulting in an increase of the vaccination drive, added the minister. “The government is already working as an anchor customer by the usage of vaccines and mapping and creating the demand structure for the drone technology in India,” said Shri Scindia. The government approved PLI Scheme for the drone’s industry will bring fresh investments and boost employment in India said the minister. He said that drone technology is on the runaway and urged the industry bodies to help the technology take off.
Mr. Vignesh Santhanam, Aerospace and Drones, World Economic Forum said, drones should bolster the Agri research system to support the sector through increased produce, upskilling of rural populations for secure livelihoods while being a lighthouse for fourth IR tech.
Mr. Smit Shah, Director – Partnerships, DFI said, we welcome the efforts of the Minister as a partner of this industry.
Mr. Rajan Luthra, Chair – FICCI Committee on Drones and Chairman’s Office – Head-Special Projects, Reliance Industries Ltd said that agriculture is one of the most important sectors in India with huge market potential and the usage of drones for agriculture will deliver significant benefits to the farmers and common man.