Feb 27, 2022
In today’s series of our Current Affairs Dialog Box, we will discuss why India has banned the import of Drones, its relevance from the Prelims and Mains syllabus point of view, and why it should be studied extensively during UPSC exam preparation.
Recently, the Government has banned the import of drones except for R&D, defence and security purposes.
What are the advantages of banning imports of drones? Discuss the measures taken by the government to promote indigenously made drones.
Watch Weekly Current Affairs Masterclass For Prelims & Mains (7th February to 13th February) by Prem Sodhani Sir, our DREAM TEAM Faculty for Current Affairs:
The term “drone” usually refers to any unpiloted aircraft. Sometimes referred to as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" (UAVs), these crafts can carry out an impressive range of tasks, ranging from military operations to package delivery.
It was originally developed for the military and aerospace industries, drones have found their way into the mainstream because of the enhanced levels of safety and efficiency they bring.
Application of Drones
Ministry of Home Affairs: VVIP security, Surveillance, situational analysis, crime control, and counter-terror operations.
Ministry of Defence: Combat operations, communication in remote areas, counter-drone solutions, reconnaissance and surveillance.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: Delivery of medicines, collection of samples from remote or epidemic/pandemic-affected areas delivery of blood and organ transplantation.
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change: Anti-poaching actions, monitoring of forests and wildlife, pollution assessment, and evidence gathering.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting: The Ministry could use drones for high-quality videography of events and difficult-to-reach-places at a fraction of the cost and approvals required. This move would also facilitate low altitude shooting without noise, and prevent dust pollution and risk of accidents.
Ministry of Agriculture: Crop and soil health monitoring, anti-locust work, insurance claim survey, spraying fertilizers and pesticides targeted.
Ministry of Panchayati Raj: Land Records and property rights.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Ministry of Power: Real-time surveillance of assets and transmission lines, theft prevention, visual inspection/maintenance, construction planning and management.
Ministry of Railways: unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to undertake disaster management, incidence response, inspection/maintenance works and project monitoring.
|Key features of Liberalised Drone Rules 2021|
Ease of Doing Business: The total number of forms that were to be filled has been reduced from 25 to 5.
And the total number of fees that are to be paid before being able to operate drones has been reduced from 72 to just 4.
Several Approvals Abolished: unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc.
Digital Sky Platform: It shall be developed as a user-friendly single-window system. There will be minimal human interface and most permissions will be self-generated.
Digital Sky Platform is an initiative by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to provide a secure and scalable platform that supports drone technology frameworks, such as NPNT (no permission, no take-off), designed to enable flight permission digitally and manage unmanned aircraft operations and traffic efficiently.
Interactive Airspace Map: Interactive airspace maps with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of these rules.
The yellow zone, which was earlier a 45 km zone from the airport perimeter, has now been reduced to a 12 km zone, meaning that outside of a 12 km radius of an airport perimeter, it would be a green zone, where drone operators no longer need permission to fly.
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