ICMR gets Centre’s nod to explore option of drones for delivering Covid-19 vaccines
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday granted conditional exemption to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting a feasibility study of Covid-19 vaccine delivery using drones in collaboration with IIT Kanpur.
The exemption is valid for a period of one year or until further orders, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
The ICMR had filed an application in February seeking permission to conduct a feasibility study to deliver Covid-19 vaccines using drones. The government said that the medical research body will have to get clearance on its standard operating procedures (SOPs) from the DGCA.
Conditional exemption has also been granted to a few entities and civic bodies to carry out studies using drones. These are: the municipal corporations of Dehradun, Haldwani, Haridwar and Rudrapur for preparation of GIS based property database and electronic tax register; the Kota and Katni divisions of West Central Railway for train accident sites and maintaining safety of railway assets.
In addition to these, Vedanta Ltd. (Cairn Oil & Gas) also received the conditional drone usage exemption for data acquisition for asset inspecting & mapping.
“These exemptions shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated for the respective entities are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, the exemption shall become null and void and action may be initiated by MoCA & DGCA,” the ministry said.