At the launch of the Gujarat Drone Mahotsav which was held on Friday on the grounds of the University of Ahmedabad, while small camouflaged drones with doves in the sky, Amber Dubey, co-secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) highlighted how the now liberalized drone policy will pave the way for the creation of “intellectual property” in this area.
“In today’s world, whoever has the intellectual property (intellectual property) is the one who is powerful… The liberalized rules on drones arrived on August 25 and within three weeks the Cabinet approved the related incentives. in production, that too in the midst of COVID19 when we’re pressed for cash… This process otherwise takes eight-nine months. But in identifying the importance of drones, there is the support of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The government gives 20 percent cashback (on the cost of making the drones)… We keep our check books. Suppose if you were to sell a drone at a cost of Rs 100, with a manufacturing cost of Rs 40, you added a value of Rs 60. 20% of that added value will be returned to you in cash, ”Dubey said.
According to Dubey, last year India recorded a turnover of Rs 60 crore in this sector. The MoCA runs drone awareness programs in various states of India with the aim of educating drone end users such as farmers, students, academics, start-ups, government and private organizations and the drone Mahotsav held in Gujarat was poised not only as a precursor event of the next Vibrant Gujarat scheduled for January 2022, but is also a way to attract investment in this sector as part of the industrial city development project of Dholera.
The event hosted by Pradip Patel, CEO of Prime UAV and sponsored by Dholera Industrial City Development Limited, Adani Defense and Aerospace and Blue Ray Aviation was packed with hobbyist drone enthusiasts, established drone companies as well as start-ups, often seen responding to requests and demonstration requests from visitors to the stalls.
Sethuraj V, co-founder and CTO of Aerosys Aviation, a Noida-based start-up that currently manufactures drones for land surveying and mapping, sees a huge domestic market to fill. As Sethuraj says, their company is in contact with the government of Bihar in light of recent flooding observed in the state and as he explains, Aerosys drones can be used to map an area and predict the pattern of flooding the area through software with 80 Percent Accuracy, which can then be used to establish an evacuation and rescue plan. Other uses of these mapping drones can be used to plan construction on a strip of land with centimeter accuracy, for mining, to monitor tree density in forests and to monitor it.
As the drone exhibit also demonstrated, the use of drones in agriculture is also a largely untapped market, with the potential to reduce labor costs and time intensity. As an executive from S. Agri Udaan, an Ahmedabad-based company, which delivers drones for spraying insecticides and pesticides, says, an 11-liter payload carrying the insecticide or pesticides can complete the spray job. on 15 acres of farmland within minutes. “With crops such as rice and sugar cane, such mechanisms become particularly effective”, explains the executive.
The drone exhibit, in addition to attracting the interest of students, defense personnel and police, also saw an exhibit from the fire emergency services of Ahmedabad. With a payload consisting of a thermal imaging scanner as well as an optical scanner, protesters said the drone was also used in practice during a 2019 fire at a building in the Gota neighborhood in Ahmedabad, Ganesh Genesis.
Explaining the mechanism, AFES officials said, “Thermal imaging can be done from above as well as from the side of a building through the wall, even 15 feet from the wall. Considering the smoke, the heat detector would tell us not only the source of the fire, but also if there is movement of people or for that matter the number of people trapped inside.