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India has potential to become world’s drone hub, says PM Modi

Speaking at the Bharat Drone Mahotsav on Friday, Modi expressed optimism about the growing use of drones in the country in a number of sectors including agriculture and sports.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during inauguration of Bharat Drone Mahotsav 2022, India's biggest drone festival, at Delhi's Pragati Maidan. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the use of drones will rise in key sectors like agriculture, defence, disaster management and sports, and that India has the potential to become the world’s drone hub. The drone industry will emerge as a key employment generation sector in India, and will “revolutionise” how services are provided to the public and also make it easier for providing government services, he said.

Speaking at the Bharat Drone Mahotsav on Friday, Modi expressed optimism about the growing use of drones in the country in a number of sectors. “Drone is a smart tool that will be part of the life of common Indians, be it on an agricultural field, or playground, media or film industry. We will see more use of the technology in the coming days,” he said.

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“The enthusiasm that is being seen in India regarding drone technology is amazing. This energy is visible, it is a reflection of the quantum jump in the drone service and drone-based industry in India. It shows the potential of an emerging large sector of employment generation in India,” PM Modi said.

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Highlighting the PM Swamitva Yojana, which is an ambitious project to digitally map lands using drones and offer land title deeds to property holders, Modi said drones could become the “basis of a big revolution”. “Under this scheme, for the first time, digital mapping of every property in the villages of the country is being done, digital property cards are being given to the people,” Modi said. So far, 65 lakh property cards have been issued under the scheme, he announced.

At the exhibition, which has been billed as India’s biggest drone event, Modi also launched 150 remote pilot certificates and interacted with kisan drone pilots, startups in the drone space, and witnessed open-air drone demonstrations in the drone exhibition centre at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.

The Prime Minister also said that drones will play a crucial role in offering health-related services going forward. “We are promoting telemedicine. Drone will help in quick delivery of medicines. We have already seen it in the delivery of vaccines in tough terrains. We are making this technology available with the masses,” he said.

View of a drone on display at the Bharat Drone Mahotsav, India’s largest drone festival, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. (PTI)

Modi said that the government has done away with restrictive drone regulations which had slowed down the progress of the industry and introduced newer rules instead with an eye on boosting manufacturing in the space. “Till a few months back, there were a lot of restrictions on drones. We have removed most of the restrictions in a very short time. We are also moving towards creating a strong drone manufacturing ecosystem in India through schemes like Production Linked Incentive (PLI),” he said.

The drone PLI scheme was announced last year with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years. Recently, the government had selected 14 entities under the scheme, including Adani’s joint venture with Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems, IdeaForge Technology, and drone startup Omnipresent Robot Technologies, which is backed by Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath.

First published on: 27-05-2022 at 03:58:59 pm
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