Indian Government Budget Supports Domestic Drone Industry
The Government of India (GOI) released its budget on 01 Feb 2022 . This is the Union Budget of India, which is also referred to as the Annual Financial Statement and marks the direction for government expenditures for the following financial year (beginning 1st Apr till 31st Mar).
TheUnion Budget aptly focused on ‘Amrit Kaal’ from India at 75 to India at 100. It intends to provide a blueprint for steering the economy over this Amrit Kaal, thus, aiming to attain its vision of complementing the macroeconomic and micro-economic level growths, technology enabled development and enabling private investments.
Acknowledging its vision for India, the Union Budget, as part of its focus on inclusive development, technology, and investments, has given a strong boost to the drone industry – the technology of the future. The finance minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Budget speech said that the use of ‘Kisan Drones’ will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides, and nutrients. She also announced the launch of ‘Drone Shakti’ programme where the start-ups will be promoted to facilitate this programme through varied applications and for Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS). Further, to enable the same, in select ITIs, in all states, the required courses for skilling will be started.
The financial year 2022, undoubtedly, is proving to be a game changer for the drone industry in India. From conducting Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) trials through the selected consortia, the Ministry of Civil Aviation went on to liberalize the Drone Rules and announce the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones, National UTM Policy Framework, Certification scheme for UAS and operationalise the Digital Sky platform as an online single window system one after the other. These initiatives not only simplify the processes and regulations for all the industry stakeholders but also act as a catalyst in boosting the interests of international players, investors and demand from end users. With the recent announcements in the Union Budget, the GOI has clearly manifested its trust and confidence in this technology and wish to enable the ecosystem for the proliferation of the drone industry in India for various applications for the public good.
On the other hand, the market also seems to realize the usefulness of drone operations. Be the applications related to agriculture, aerial surveillance or logistics for the transportation of packages like food, medicines, life saving products, etc., drones have successfully demonstrated their capabilities and benefits. At this point, it becomes important for the industry stakeholders to also play their role well and be responsible for their actions. In the short term, the demand for drone operations might not be economical, but that’s the same time to remain invested in this technology. In order to contribute constructively to the growth of the drone industry, it would be vital that drone operators/ service providers undertake safe, reliable and regulated operations.
“The necessary compliance with both static and dynamic regulations and directives by the government, advanced anti avoidance capabilities and technological ecosystem for business intelligence and data analysis would play an integral role in winning users’ confidence and optimizing operations”, stated Amit Ganjoo, Founder and CEO of ANRA Technologies.
ANRA Technologies participates in numerous tests, demonstrations, panels, committees, and research activities, which allows us to actively contribute in the development of regulations and standards for UTM/ UAV/ UAS development. As a result, we are able to innovate in the airspace management technology, which reflects in our products and solutions. ANRA’s ANRA, a coordinated, scalable, and highly adaptable family of software services, provides execution and management of drone operations in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, ensuring the safety of the Indian National Airspace and seamless integration into the country’s legacy Air Traffic Control systems. These solutions connect all the necessary stakeholders by providing vital information and data exchanges for compliant and efficient delivery operations..
The announcements made in the Union Budget are definitely encouraging and augurs well for the entire drone industry spanning drone manufacturers, technology providers (UTM Service Providers, others), drone operators and investors. With the constructive and collaborative actions of the industry stakeholders and policy makers/ regulators, India is set to emerge as the fastest growing drone market in the Asia Pacific.