Drones have the incredible capability to enhance every sector of the Indian economy and keeping this in mind, the Govt. Of India released the New Drone Rules in August 2021, plus a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the drone manufacturers. Adding another accolade to the country’s collective technological advancement is the launch of 4 drone-related initiatives at IIT Guwahati by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation. Gen. V.K. Singh (Retd.) on Tuesday, launched India’s first ‘Center For Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology and Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Skill Development Center for Drone/UAV Operation and Maintenance’, ‘Nodal Center for Overall Administrative Drone Data Management for NE Region’ and ‘Axom Drone Ports’. The Axom Drone Ports along with the other initiatives will give a major thrust to the ‘Make in India’ campaign and facilitate delivery of vital/emergency supplies to remote areas of the North-East by development and implementation of drone technology.
The program was jointly organized by IIT Guwahati and FICCI. The MoS presided over the meeting of guests, dignitaries, Kendriya Vidyalaya-IITG students, farmers, medical practitioners, policymakers and other end users of the facility.
They (drones) can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas. It’s encouraging to see the IITs of our country take some timely initiatives in this direction. I pay my regards to the people who are driving the growth of drones in India.”~ Gen. V.K. Singh, Minister of State for Civil Aviation
The North-East is already on the track of progress with various government infrastructure and development policies focusing on the region, now more than ever, and welcomed the initiative of drone especially for Border Security, Agriculture and Health. The goal is to now develop and implement the technology throughout the country to make India a drone hub on the world map and a multiplier to the global drone ecosystem.
Center For Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology and Artificial Intelligence:
The facility is designed to tackle a wide array of technical and social concerns related to drone technology and aspires to solve NE Region’s most persistent problems, along with adding on to the country’s technological development. The Technology Incubation Center at IITG has been researching underwater drones for a while now. The Center For Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology and Artificial Intelligence plans to cash in on the wide range of expertise available across IITG to expedite the development of drones/UAVs, software platforms, data collation and analysis and create a broad application base.
The Center plans to assist innovators and start-ups in their R&D activities. Further along, with the formulation and implementation of drone policies and regulations, the Center will also work on certification and testing of drones.
Skill Development Center for Drone/UAV Operation and Maintenance:
In collaboration with the State Govt., Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence and relevant industrial partners, the Skill Development Center will provide professional UAV training to government and private organisations for carrying out disaster relief & management, high power fault detection, remote surveillance etc. The ultimate goal is to generate employment opportunities and multiple general benefits for the residents of the NE region.
Nodal Center for Overall Administrative Drone Data Management for NE Region:
The Nodal Center has been given the responsibility to look after the overall administrative management for the NE Region, drafting policies and developing a framework with the State Govt. for building a sustainable UAV ecosystem in India.
From the bird’s eye view, it is clear that once the drone/UAV technology has perforated all levels of the Indian economy, only then will its full potential as an economic multiplier will be unleashed as it will create many ripples along the economy with a different benefit riding on each one.