Impetus to drone and aviation industry will position India ahead of its global peers: Jyotiraditya Scindia

The impetus given to the drone and aviation sector will offer employment opportunities across hardware, software and services in India, said Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, at TechSparks Delhi.

Impetus to drone and aviation industry will position India ahead of its global peers: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Wednesday November 29, 2023,

3 min Read

The sky is the limit for Indian manufacturers in the space tech and aviation sector, said Jyotiradtiya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, in a fireside session with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, at TechSparks 2023, Delhi edition.

Policy updates and impetus given to technology providers and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the sector, over the last few years, will position India ahead of its global peers, he said.

“The impetus that has been given to civil aviation in the last nine years is something which we haven’t seen in the last 50-odd years. From 74 airports in 2014 to 149 airports and heliports—growing nearly 2X in the last nine years,” the Minister said.  

He added that the country's civil aviation is in its growth phase, with the number of air travellers growing from 144 million (pre-COVID) to 440 million by 2030. This will set the stage for India to become a base for aerospace manufacturing, with nearly 60% of the avionics for the sector to be built by Indian MSMEs.

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Advances in the drone sector

The Minister also spoke about the paradigm shift brought about by drones and advanced air mobility.

Keeping up with these changes, the government has focused on bringing about policy changes, creating an airspace map to demarcate safe flying zones for drones, and giving a new impetus on the manufacturing side. 

“The PM has been very forward-looking on this, saying we need to advance the government as one of the biggest demand builders for the drone ecosystem. We have 39 ministries, from agriculture to petroleum, which source 10% of their work through drones,” he said.

India's drone manufacturing sector, worth Rs 30 crore, has already clocked a turnover of Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore on the back of the Rs 120-crore PLI scheme. Besides hardware, the software and drone-as-a-service industries will benefit from the growth, he added. 

“The potential for the drone ecosystem to garner employment is gigantic. Yesterday, in the Cabinet, we approved a Rs 1,250-crore scheme empowering women across the length and breadth of India. We will provide them drones at subsidised rates of about 80%; we will provide them training, literally, free of cost; we will provide them insurance for their drones, and we will roll it out over the next two years, where we empower 20,000 to 30,000 women,” said Scindia. 

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On entrepreneurship

The Minister, who has an MBA from Stanford Graduate Business School and has worked with the likes of Morgan Stanley, identifies as an entrepreneur at heart.

He said commitment, granularity, and creating value through ideas are key to all young founders. He also emphasised the importance of execution over ideation to bring about change.

"Most importantly, learn to believe in yourself, have a clear conscience, and get a good night's sleep," the Minister said.


Edited by Suman Singh

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