India’s very own drone system is havoc. Accounting to more than 18% of the population who use Drones for daily recreation or personal use, drone today is now a choice. It has been two years, says a drone user in Palakkad, waiting to fly it higher than ever one day where that police wouldn’t come to a stop him. The Directorate-General for Aviation had implemented several rules for drone flying across cities, citing differences in state security and policy. India’s long, broad security issues rose after the 26/11 attacks, and till today, the fear of another attack ponder over the minds of the intelligence services.
Drones are widely used by the state service and corps that frequently go on checks across hostile areas. India’s allowance of drones separates these from the ones who use it for personal fulfillment. The drone ecosystem in India is a simple term for the mass of users waiting for the implementation that has been on hold since 2018. Features like NPNT (No permission, no takeoff) are some of those long lists of adapted features that the government doesn’t want to engage and discuss. The drone ecosystem has been on the hide for several years, both involving legal and illegal users.
Many users want to use their drones, but at what cost? If they try to use it now, will the government attack the user for going against the law? There are over 6-7 Lakh users drone used by the military and commercial purposes. How could one establish that the usage is for well-being and not for the misuse and breach of security in the politically unstable system? If people wanted to fly drones, why aren’t they allowed to participate in registration and thus enjoy drone usage in a country that is progressing towards Digitalization? These are some of the questions that many want the government to answer.
Lack of control and optimization leads to the failure of usage.
Some of the main reasons for the drone’s drone’s failure are lack of ownership, air control regulations still aren’t formulated, and the NPNT (1) guidelines. Drones weren’t even a thing till 2014. The DGCA hadn’t approved a fly-based system for the delivery of goods, and they had air control only for the usage of airplanes. Thus, Drones weren’t even an attraction during those times, and therefore, the focus on such machines was low. The DGCA had banned drones once when a local pizzeria had used a drone to deliver it to their consumers. Since then, drones became the highlight for the DGCA to focus on and gain control.
The Indian Film Industry had much cash to sell out over the restrictions over drones. Most of the production occurs using drones, citing that inhuman filmography could use external devices like drones. This called for a regulation change, and since 2016, India has allotted usage of drones for Film productions. Drones in India haven’t been a staple for the military. The world’s usage of Drones by military accounts for 48%, which means that countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Israel, China, and Russia use these highly classified and mechanized drones to militarize and dominate small spaces across the region in the world. The US clash with Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi took shape with drones’ help that could move in tight space and help each their movements.
India has been very slow in such tech innovations. The country has still been on the run to regulate the common man’s drone. How could that’s the same country engage in military usage of the drone? From a security standpoint, India has been very slow in helping out and finding measures to tackle counter pressures at the border. Even today, Indian soldiers will have to travel thousands of kilometers across the Siachen and land to verify the opponent’s movements. The strategy that the opponents might move have adverse effects on India’s regime and could impact the actions. There are around 20 plus drone manufacturers and 3000 operators registered with the Drone Federation of India in India. Many start-ups are engaging in direct user registration, and these come from such specialized areas out of the radar.
Acquisitions and Trades
Ever since the restrictions on drone usage by companies and users across India, these restrictions hit food delivery brands like Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket. These companies were on the move to stimulate drone counters by 2021. But, the ecosystem has been gaining traction. In late 2018, Reliance Industries acquired a 51% stake in Asteria Aerospace, a drone tech firm. Even in 2019, Zomato had partnered with Tech-eagle to engage in food delivery through Drones. Amazon had been shifting ideas to build a drone system across delivery hubs to users for faster delivery.
The UAV system had been a wild prospect for the government in recent times. Enabling complimentary usage outside zones to man views of the national projects was one of the main ideas behind allowing drones, especially government demands. The drone system has been used extensively for manning views on train projects and progress from the GAIL India initiative. The NHAI has been using it to observe the progress of highways and maintenance as well. Coal India acquired many drones to keep mines and take control over trespassers, illegal mining. The pandemic, too, had been vital for the usage of drones. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies used drones to deliver products and conduct safety checks across colonies, Thermal drones to measure body heat. In Indian defense, the DRDO has been engaging in laser drone production that could have a high potential for spying services and C-UAS technologies.
The practical usage of drones versus the misuse of drones can easily explain the hesitation of the DGCA and Ministry of Civil Aviation to enable the rights for users to fly the drones with ease. Political apprehensions, Military instability, and government instability are sensitive spots that are manipulated and played on. The necessity of drone mechanisms does take shape for the benefit of India’s forces and the sake of Digitalization as well. As India advances into the decade of technological advancement, such devices must be built for a unique ecosystem that construes the value of improvement and technological innovations.