Sunday, December 10, 2017

How Far Is India From Flying Drones?

Artificial Intelligence is the future of today’s world. Drones, technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are one such form of artificial intelligence which shall change the course of technology and the world soon. Drone technology has immense potential, not only for technological and economic growth, globally, but also for social change and impact.

Recently, the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba announced the delivery of packages over water to islands around China using drones. Reportedly, the drones deployed took nine minutes to make the five-kilometre crossing. That’s the potential drones have; they will save time and logistics/transportation costs for businesses.
Not only for commercial use, drones can be used for traffic control, defence and military surveillance, construction surveillance, providing emergency medical and food supplies, agriculture, disaster management, etc.
In October 2014, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had disallowed use of drones in India due to privacy and security threats posed by them and in the absence of a regulatory framework.
Given the industry-wide criticism, in April 2016, for the first time, the Government of India proposed draft guidelines for regulating drones, however, the same did not formalise. With certain further changes, on 1 November 2017, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, released the draft regulations or civil aviation requirements (CARs) for permitting operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems/drones. The draft CARs were open to public and other stakeholders’ comments for a month, after which the government will release the final regulations expected soon.
10/12/17 Ketan Kothari & Shweta Dwivedi/Quint