UAVs and Associated Issues
- Key Areas of Application
- Challenges and limitations hindering the growth of drone sector in India
- Key steps taken in recent times to promote drone sector in India
- Remotely Piloted Aircrafts, popularly referred as drones, are unmanned aircrafts piloted from a remote platform. Drones, with its associated remote pilot station(s), command and control links and other components form a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). It has many wide ranging applications. But, due to various security concerns, the GoI had, in Oct 2014, banned the use of UAVs by private players and individuals.
- After years of deliberations, the new regulations by DGCA which came into force on 1st Dec, 2018 have lifted this ban. It is expected to encourage more investment and R&D in the sector in India.
Key Areas of Application
Challenges and limitations hindering the growth of drone sector in India
- Evolving Regulatory framework: The regulatory framework for drone sector in India is still evolving, and this can make it difficult for businesses to operate.
- Poor Demand: There is a lack of awareness among people and businesses about potential uses and applications of drone sector. This has kept the potential demand on the lower side.
- Safety Concerns: With increased uses of drones, there may be increased risk of drone accidents/ drone falling. This may create problems specially in a densely populated area.
- Privacy Concerns: Drones may be used for spying on people without their permission leading to privacy violations.
- Cybersecurity issues: Drones are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and these attacks may disrupt drone operations.
- Job Losses: In future, when drones are used for work like delivery by online sellers, food delivery companies etc, it may lead to a job loss situation for a lot of people.
- Military use of drones can also be very devastating:
- Easier, violation of sovereignty
- For e.g., in recent years, sightings of drones along the Indo-Pak borders have increased.
- Drones have been used by Pakistan based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunitions and drugs in India.
- Risk of overusing of military options
- Making it more difficult to identify violations of constraints against targeting non
- Easier, violation of sovereignty
Key steps taken in recent times to promote drone sector in India:
- Liberalized Drone Rules, 2021
- India’s Airspace Map for Drone Operations Released by Ministry of Civil Aviation
- PLI scheme for Drones, 2021
- Guidelines for PLI incentive scheme to support Indigenous drone industry (Nov 2022)
- Drone Shakti Scheme – Financial incentives to startups that are developing drone based solutions.
- Initiatives to promote the use of drones in different sectors like Agriculture, infrastructure logistics etc.
- Encourage drone use in various sectors like logistics, infrastructure, agriculture etc.
- Create a favorable regulatory environment: The 2021 rules need further simplification to promote ease of doing business in the drone sector
- Support Drone Industry
- Launch a drone startup accelerator program.
- More R&D Support: Government should incentivize/support R&D in drone sector to ensure innovation and development in the drone sector.
- Organized drone-expos and conferences.
- Encourage PPP models in Drone sector – This will help pool resources and expertise and accelerate the development of the sector.
- Education and Skill development: Create dedicated courses for drone sector at both graduation and post graduation level to promote drone sector. Jobs in the areas of drone repairs will be a big deal.
- Promote Industry-Academia collaboration to support research.
- Focus on Cyber Security, which is expected to increase in vulnerability
- Plan for sustainable disposal of e-waste generated by the use of drones.
“Drones are frontier technology which has the potential to leapfrog India’s economic growth” Elaborate [10 marks, 150 words]
Discuss the key challenges limiting the growth of drone technology and its usage in India [10 marks, 150 words]