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Government to Help Startups Promote Drones-As-A-Service

Drone Shakti, a new initiative that will commercialise the use of drones in different industries, will be promoted with the help of startups, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget 2022 speech today. She stressed that the initiative will also help establish Drones-As-A-Service. Sitharaman said that the required courses needed to upskill people on the use of drone technology will be started.

“Artificial Intelligence, Geospatial Systems and Drones, Semiconductor and its eco-system, Space Economy, Genomics and Pharmaceuticals, Green Energy, and Clean Mobility Systems have immense potential to assist sustainable development at scale and modernise the country. They provide employment opportunities for youth, and make Indian industry more efficient and competitive, the finance minister said while presenting the Union Budget 2022-2023 in the Parliament.

While talking about agricultural development, Sitharaman said that the use of ‘kisan drones’ will be promoted for crop assessment, digitisation of land records, and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.

The government introduced a more liberal set of rules for the use of drones in August last year. According to the Drone Rules 2021, a security clearance is not required before any registration or licence issuance for the operation of drones. The rules also reduced the fees for permissions to operate drones.

The maximum penalty for the unauthorised use of drones was also reduced to Rs. 1 lakh under the new Drone Rules. This, however, does not apply yo penalties in respect of violation of other laws.

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