Centre allows ICMR to conduct study on using Drones for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery


The Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday granted conditional exemption to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct a feasibility study on using drones for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, according to an official statement.

The ICMR will conduct this study in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, stated the ministry’s press release.

The ministry said it has granted “conditional exemption” from the “Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021” so that it can conduct a feasibility study on using drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccine.

This exemption will be valid for a period of one year or until further orders, it stated.

The Civil Aviation Ministry stated that it has also granted conditional permission to “Nagar Nigam” (city municipalities) of four cities — Dehradun, Haldwani, Haridwar and Rudrapur — to use drones for creating property database and electronic tax register.

Similar permission has been granted to West Central Railway based in Kota and Katni to use drones for mapping “train accident site” and “maintaining safety and security of the railway assets”.

In addition to these, Vedanta Ltd had on April 8 received the conditional permission to use drones for “asset inspection and mapping”.

This step comes at a time when the country is witnessing a deluge of covid-19 cases.

India on Thursday registered over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases in a day, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 1,59,30,965.

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