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India Reveals Super Growth in Drone Sector

India drones

Taking another step towards realizing a collective vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the Central Government under the leadership of India Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has released India’s airspace map for drone operations.

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  1. Policy reforms in drone airspace will catalyze super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sector for India.
  2. Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy.
  3. Given its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering and its huge domestic demand, India has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030.

The drone airspace map comes as a follow-through of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021 released by the Central Government on August 25, 2021, the PLI scheme for drones released on September 15, 2021, and the Geospatial Data Guidelines issued on February 15, 2021. All these policy reforms will catalyze super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sector. 

WHY ARE DRONES IMPORTANT?

Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. These include but are not limited to agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defense, and law enforcement to name a few. Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.   

Given its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering and its huge domestic demand, India has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030.

WHAT’S THE LIKELY IMPACT OF THESE DRONE INITIATVES?

Thanks to the new rules, the drone PLI scheme and the freely accessible drone airspace maps, the drones and drone components manufacturing industry may see an investment of over INR 5,000 crore over the next three years. The annual sales turnover of the drone manufacturing industry may grow from INR 60 crore in the 2020-21 fold to over INR 900 crore in FY 2023-24. The drone manufacturing industry is expected to generate over 10,000 direct jobs over the next three years. 

The drone services industry, which includes operations, mapping, surveillance, agri-spraying, logistics, data analytics, and software development, to name some, will grow to an even larger scale. It is expected to grow to over INR 30,000 crore in next three years. The drone services industry is expected to generate over 500,000 jobs in three years.

The airspace map for drone operations is available on DGCA’s digital sky platform.

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Anil Mathur - eTN India

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