Thursday, February 04, 2021

Drones To Play Key Role In Future Armed Conflicts: Amber Dubey, JS, MOCA

Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India today said that the vision is for us (India) to be the drone hub of the world. “Atmanirbhar Bharat is no more a slogan. However, the bulk of the drone components require scale and right now the market in India is too small to give that scale. Volumes will only come through enabling DSR (Demand, Supply, Regulations),” he said.

Addressing the FICCI Session on Drones & Counter-Drone Opportunities in Defence and Homeland Security at Aero India, Dubey said that drones are the future of armed conflicts and the impact has been witnessed by all in recent times. Lauding the start-up ecosystem in the drones’ sector, he said that the very people who today are delivering agri drones and mining drones will also give us military drones.

Further, Dubey informed that the draft Drone Rules are already in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry. “Hopefully by 31 March we should come up with the drone rules,” he said.

On quality, Dubey noted that the DGCA has appointed QCI (Quality Council of India) to look at the quality certification and approvals process. The QCI, in turn, has a run a collaborative process and come up with a guidance manual. “Quality is paramount and that is why we have outsourced it to parties that have more knowledge. This is the kind of PPP that we are looking at,” he noted.

Rakesh Asthana, Director General, Border Security Force informed that while there were 167 recorded sighting of drones in the Western Front in 2019, there were 77 sightings in the last year. “There have been instances of dropping off arms & ammunition as well as narcotics through drones, particularly in Punjab and the Jammu sector,” he said.

“The drone technology is being effectively used for not only smuggling activities but also for surveillance purposes by anti-national elements and non-state actors that are also seeking to augment their counter-drone capabilities having interception, direction finding, and jamming capabilities. If these are not addressed appropriately and effectively, it will pose a daunting challenge for us in times to come,” Asthana said.

04/02/21 Business world

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