Indian government recently announced an Incubation Fund for the indigenous drone systems, which would have a utility across several fields.
Crux of the Matter
Incubation Funding For Drones
India is in the process of initiating an Incubation Fund for the drone industry. The move would reduce India’s dependency on the import of major drone equipment from China, which recently expressed aggression at the border against it.
Named DISHA (Drone for Infra Security Health and Agriculture), the fund aims to provide financial support to the indigenous drone makers.
The fund being conceptualised by NITI Aayog will aim at bridging the gap between academia and industry, so that the entire ecosystem of drone manufacturing improves in scale and sizeIndian Government
Drones In India – History And Use
- 1999: India uses first of its drones in the Kargil war, deploying IAI Heron and Searcher drones supplied by Israel.
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is a programme run by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization, that has created drones like Lakshya, Nishant, and Rustom which can be used for surveillance, with the last one also capable of offensive.
- Indian Railways uses UAS for inspecting its development of the Freight corridor.
- In 2019, Coal India used drones to investigate illegal mining.
- In 2019, the Maharashtra government initiated the use of drones in agriculture to aid farmers in crop surveillance.
- Food delivery apps Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo are in the process of testing food delivery using drones.
Drones’ Use Across The World
- 70% of investment in the global drone market is done for military use.
- In 2018, WakeMed Health & Hospital in the US partnered with Matternet and UPS drone firms to initiate delivery of medicines.
- RanMarine firm from the Netherlands uses drones to collect waste from ports.
- Amazon recently initiated its Prime Air programme to deliver goods using drones.
- News agency CNN runs a programme called CNN air, which uses drones to collect information and footage.
- South Korea recently flew drones over Han River in Seoul to express support to the people while also spreading awareness against Covid-19.
- One of the earliest explorations of the concept of the combat drone was by Lee De Forest, an early inventor of radio devices, and U. A. Sanabria, a TV engineer. They presented their idea in an article in a 1940 publication of Popular Mechanics. The modern military drone as known today was the brainchild of John Stuart Foster Jr., a nuclear physicist.
- Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known by the pseudonym Nadar, was a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, balloonist, and proponent of heavier-than-air flight. In 1858 he became the first person to take aerial photographs. Today, drones are heavily used for Aerial photography.
- FPV (first-person view) drone racing is a sport type where participants control “drones”, equipped with cameras while wearing head-mounted displays showing the live stream camera feed from the drones. Similar to full size air racing the goal is to complete a set course as quickly as possible.
- Business Standard – Self-reliance in full flight: Govt’s drone incubation fund set to take off
- Invest India – The growing market for drone technologies in India
- Future Farming – Indian state turns to drones to modernise agriculture
- The Financial Express – UAV for Armed Forces: Boost to Make in India initiative, MSMEs can get UAV projects