New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisions India as a global drone hub in the world, underscoring Friday that these unmanned vehicles would soon be a way of life in the country – from the agricultural field to the playing field.
Modi on Friday inaugurated India’s biggest drone festival – Bharat Drone Mahotsav – at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
He said India’s enthusiasm about drone technology was “amazing”. “This indicates the possibilities of employment generation in this emerging sector,” he said, adding, “Technology has paved the way to ensure the last-mile delivery of government schemes.”
The Prime Minister also spoke about the other uses of drones in government, particularly in land mapping. “Sixty-five lakh property cards have been issued with their help,” Modi said.
“Naye Bharat, naye governance, naye proyog,” he said, emphasising that drones would soon be integral to all sectors, from defence to disaster management, in tourism, media or film industry. “They will improve both quality and content.”
The Prime Minister launched 150 remote pilot certificates at the two-day event.
He would also meet startup owners, watch demonstrations, and interact with kisan drone pilots. Kisan pilots are farmers who operate the unmanned vehicles in India’s agricultural fields – a key focus area of the central government after it liberalised the drone-use policy in August 2021.
At the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the drone industry would reach a turnover of Rs 15,000 crore by 2026. He added: “Today, there are 270 drone startups in India.”
The event is being attended by 1,600 delegates – government officials, foreign diplomats, public and private company representatives and startup proprietors.
Exhibitors will showcase drones, products, flying demonstrations as well as arrange panel discussions.
Modi had tweeted Thursday: “This forum brings together key stakeholders including StartUps with the aim of increasing India’s presence in the sector. I’d urge all those interested in tech and innovation to watch the programme.”