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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

IIT students make a NaMo drone for poll campaigning

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 02, 2014
First Published: 00:34 IST(2/4/2014) | Last Updated: 01:24 IST(2/4/2014)

Far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, drones are set to take poll campaigning to new heights in the Capital. A group of students at IIT-Delhi have designed a drone – an unmanned flying vehicle – to carry banners asking people to vote for BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi.

The lightweight equipment can reach a height of 4,000 feet and has a reach of 1,000 metres.  The remote-controlled object will fly around open spaces – like parks and grounds – and drop pamphlets in support of Modi as PM, besides acting as a banner in the sky for the Gujarat chief minister.

“The drone is in its final stages of completion and will soon be used to reach out to voters in Delhi. The exterior of the drone will carry the message “Modi for PM” while we can also drop pamphlets through it in the area of campaigning,” said Sanjay Kharwar, who developed the drone with two of his college friends – Brij Kishore Maurya and Tanmay Bunkar.

Keeping Delhi’s cramped public spaces in mind, the trio installed a sensor in the drone so that it can send an alert to the operator if a building or wire is near.

“The drone can work without the operator but due to narrow streets and overhead wires, it will be controlled by a remote by our volunteer. It can also carry an audio message but we will have to check with the agencies concerned before we start it,” said Bunkar.

Once part of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption, the students maintain that they only support Modi and not any particular political party.

“We want a person with vision, someone who has a clean record and stands for development. This is the reason for us supporting Modi. We will not campaign for any party or candidate as our only intention is to make Modi the PM,” said Maurya.

The trio is a part of a group called IITians Support Modi that has more than 500 IIT students nationwide. In Delhi alone, the group has about 250 volunteers who are also active on social media.

Modi has received strong support among IITians this election season with students asking people to vote for the BJP PM candidate. Interestingly, Modi is fighting against an IIT alumnus, Arvind Kejriwal, in a keenly-watched contest in Varanasi.

Full coverage: Lok Sabha polls 2014


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