Centre to roll out programmes for drone maintenance, repair

Updated on Mar 27, 2022 06:22 AM IST

To tap into the emerging technology market which uses drones for various functions, the Centre is considering introducing skilling programmes on drone manufacturing, repair and maintenance, officials said.

The government, last year, had rolled out a production linked incentive scheme to boost manufacturing of drones in the country, providing local entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalise on the growing market.
The government, last year, had rolled out a production linked incentive scheme to boost manufacturing of drones in the country, providing local entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalise on the growing market.
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi

To tap into the emerging technology market which uses drones for various functions, the Centre is considering introducing skilling programmes on drone manufacturing, repair and maintenance, officials familiar with the matter said.

“Over the next couple of months, multiple drone skilling programmes will be launched by the government,” an official said, seeking anonymity. “These will include repair, maintenance and manufacturing of drones.”

The programmes, officials said, will be implemented by the skill ministry and developed in conjunction with several stakeholders. The National Council of Vocational Training is formulating both long-term and short-term courses, they said.

These will be introduced by the National Skill Development Corporation at its training centres, such as the Industrial Training Institutes, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras, which provide vocational training at the district level and even under aegis of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Vikas Yojana that is looking at remunerative approaches for agriculture and allied sectors.

“The use of drones for spraying pesticides or for aerial surveys will continue to grow,” the official mentioned above said. “Moreover, the training can also provide an opportunity to analyse data collected by the drones to improve efficiency in several sectors.”

The government, last year, had rolled out a production linked incentive scheme to boost manufacturing of drones in the country, providing local entrepreneurs the opportunity to capitalise on the growing market. The ministry of civil aviation, earlier this year, revised its drone policy to allow the use of small and medium-sized drones without acquiring a remote pilot certificate.

Functions of drones may include aerial surveys, their deployment to fight large scale insect attacks such as locusts and other geo-special applications, besides military application.

Experts believe India’s ranking on the global scale in terms of production of robotics and drones has been very low.

Umakanth Soni, CEO, AI and Robotics Technologies Park (ARTPARK), said India is currently lagging in the robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) sector, which offers dual application — civilian and defence. Various skill programmes can help the country scale up in the sector, he said.

India has 8% of the global talent in the AI sector, he said.

“We need to adopt a cluster approach, which has been adopted by countries such as China and Israel. AI is going to create $15.7 trillion of new economic value by 2035, according to PwC research. The AI revolution has the potential to create 133 million jobs, with a net gain of 58 million jobs,” he said.

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