Domestic drone industry in Uttar Pradesh gets ‘Make in India’ push

Domestic drone industry in Uttar Pradesh gets ‘Make in India’ push

According to reports, India’s drone sector is projected to clock a turnover of Rs 12,000-15,000 crore by 2026

Virendra Singh Rawat

Lucknow, 9 September

The nascent domestic drone industry in Uttar Pradesh has received a Make in India shot in the arm with the state planning to deploy drones for agricultural purposes. The drones will be used for spraying pesticides, fertilisers, and farm nutrients in the cultivated land.

Considering that Uttar Pradesh is among the top agricultural and horticultural producers with a cultivated area of almost 17 million hectares, there is a huge potential for local drone units, service providers and allied industry.

According to reports, India’s drone sector is projected to clock a turnover of Rs 12,000-15,000 crore by 2026.

The government has announced plans to establish a Centre of Excellence dedicated to drones at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, to foster research and facilitate setting up of drone units in the state.

According to UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, the state was committed to integrating modern technology with the farm sector to ensure farm prosperity and higher rural income.

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“The application of drones will not only save time, money and effort of farmers but it will also help in better and higher farm yield owing to economical and pragmatic use of fertilisers and soil nutrients,” he said, adding the Centre would provide 32 drones for agricultural research. Besides, the UP government will educate and encourage the farmers to use drones through field demonstrations. The government has announced a subsidy on drones. The Centre has persistently been liberalising the policy framework to boost the indigenous drone industry. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are veritably positioned as a major technology disruption even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the target of making India a drone hub by 2030.

Taking the cue, the Yogi Adityanath government is giving a major push for the setting up of defence and aerial technology units, including drones, in the UP Defence Manufacturing Corridor, which spans six districts — Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Chidrakoot, Aligarh, and Agra.

Meanwhile, drone manufacturer Milind Raj told Business Standard the domestic drone industry was poised for high growth due to proactive government support and positive public sentiments about the new age technology.

Drones are being increasingly used by other government departments and agencies, too, including police, civic bodies, apart from private companies for photography or keeping vigil.

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