Hyderabad: Telangana has been the frontrunner in using drone technology and creating an enabling ecosystem for drone companies to succeed and grow, and Hyderabad is quickly turning into a drone capital, said a top Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) official.
Telangana government through its ‘Medicine from the Sky’ initiative, recently rolled out a first-of-its-kind organised drone delivery programme in Asia, with trials in Vikarabad district focusing on laying the drone delivery network that will improve access to healthcare supplies for remote and vulnerable communities. The initiative is supported by the World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, and HealthNet Global (Apollo Hospitals).
Amber Dubey, joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, told Telangana Today, “Hyderabad has the capability not only to compete with other top cities of India but also with China and the western world in the drone space. There are huge opportunities for the city. Hyderabad is quickly turning into a drone capital and there is a lot of government support for the drone industry. Very senior people from the Telangana government have taken part in the recent Vikarabad event, which shows the commitment, vision, and energy to make grassroot-level impact.”
Drones can certainly disrupt the way technology can help sectors such as agriculture to make grassroot impact. Dubey emphasised, drones can help farmers with the necessary data insights on the farm to improve their yield, while drone-based spraying can address health hazards associated with manual fertilizer, insecticide or pesticide spraying. Taking drones to the interiors of India will be a key focus for the governments.
PLI scheme push
He further added, “Telangana is doing a great job in the drone segment and has been very proactive in its policies and approach. We will make sure that we will speed up drone approvals for the State to help keep up that momentum. Hyderabad will also be able to take advantage of the recently announced Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, both from the manufacturing and software development point of view.”
On September 15, the Government of India approved the PLI scheme for the drone industry to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities. The scheme will bring fresh investments of over Rs 5,000 crore in three years and incremental production of over Rs 1,500 crore and create additional employment of about 10,000 jobs.
The MoCA expects the annual sales turnover of the drone manufacturing industry to grow from Rs 60 crore in 2020-21 to over Rs 900 crore in FY 2023-24. The scheme allocates Rs 120 crore for drones and drone components spread over three financial years— almost twice the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21.
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