Government says startups can use drones for delivery

The government has said that it has used drones for vaccine delivery in remote regions and it has no objections to private players using the technology.
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In a reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh (retd), has announced that the government has no objection to the use of drones for delivery by private entities.

The reply stated that the government had used drones for vaccine delivery during the pandemic, especially to remote regions of the country. Other use cases include inspection of oil pipelines and power transmission lines, anti-locust operations, agricultural spraying, survey of mines, and land mapping under the SVAMITVA scheme for issuance of digital property cards.

The usage of private drones was outlined in Drone Rules, 2021, which was released last August. The rules covered everything from drone type certification and airspace restrictions to R&D rules, training, and licensing.

Companies such as Skye Air, Marut Drones, Garuda Aerospace, and TechEagle have announced that they have been chosen to run pilots with Swiggy in the last year.

Drone courses in 126 ITIs

In a reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, stated that his ministry is opening 126 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to help teach five courses on drone manufacturing, repair, and maintenance.

A majority of these ITIs will be located in Andhra Pradesh (11), Assam (14), Bihar (10), Gujarat (20), Haryana (10), Jharkand (10), Maharashtra (12) and Uttar Pradesh (15).

While three of the courses are technical in nature (teaching service, manufacturing, and operating skills), two will be focussed on agricultural uses of drones. This follows last week's announcement that the government-backed Agri Infra Fund will start providing loans to local businesses that wish to buy agri-drones.

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