GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

The Civil Aviation Ministry on 16 August 2021 gave conditional permission to 10 organisations, including Mahindra and Mahindra, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Bayer Crop Science, to use drones for various purposes. The ministry said the Karnataka government is one of the 10 organisations and it has got the permission to conduct "drone based aerial survey for creating urban property ownership records in Bengaluru".

What

  1. Mahindra and Mahindra has got permission to conduct "drone-based agricultural trials" and use drones for precision spraying on paddy and hot pepper crop in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  2. Two organisations -- Gujarat-based Blue Ray Aviation and Telangana-based Asia Pacific Flight Training Academy -- have been permitted to conduct "remote pilot training using drones", the ministry said.
  3. Bayer Crop Science has got the permission to conduct "drone-based agricultural research activities" and use drones for agricultural spraying, it mentioned.
  4. The National Health Mission in Mumbai has also got the permission to conduct experimental BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) drone flights to deliver essential healthcare items in tribal areas of Jawhar in Palghar district of Maharashtra.
  5. Gangtok Smart City Development has got the permission for drone-based aerial survey for its smart city project.
  6. SAIL has got the permission to use drones to conduct "perimeter surveillance" of its steel plant in Burnpur, West Bengal.
  7. Chennai-based Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited has got the permission to conduct "drone-based aerial spraying" to assess crop health and prevent crop disease.
  8. The ministry said Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology to conduct atmospheric research at five different locations in the country.
  9. The ministry said it has granted conditional exemption to the aforementioned 10 organisations from the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021, and it is 'valid for a period of one year from the date of approval or until further orders'.