ICMR receives conditional permission to use drones for delivery of medicines

The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday granted conditional permission to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to use drones in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur and Nagaland to deliver vaccines beyond the visual line of sight.

ICMR can fly the drones up to a height of 3,000 metre to deliver vaccines.

Recently, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia launched first of its kind ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project at Vikarabad in Telangana under which drugs and vaccines will be delivered using drones.

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As per the statement provided by the ministry, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai has also received the conditional permission to use drones for research, development and testing purposes in its own premises.

While both the organisations — the IIT and the ICMR — have been granted conditional exemption from Drone Rules, 2021, the exemption will be subjected to the terms and conditions of the said airspace clearance.

Also, the exemption is only valid for a period of one year from the date of approval of the said airspace clearance or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” the statement noted.

Earlier, on August 25, the ministry had notified Drone Rules 2021, to usher in an era of super-normal growth while balancing safety and security considerations in drone operations.

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