With the Government of India liberalising the drone policy in the country, drones are finding their usage beyond the defence sector. Drones are slowly penetrating into other sectors as well like agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, insurance, etc. and are all set to bring-in game-changing advancements into various fields.
In the coming months and years, the rapid growth of the drone industry is going to need a large number of highly skilled and technically sound workforce. To understand more about the growth of the industry, various opportunities and avenues for building capacities to make India a global hub for drones in the coming years, we spoke to Mr. Amit Takte, VP – Technology and Training at DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation, you can watch the full video interview on our YouTube channel.
Q: What are the various applications of drones across various industries?
A: The sectors like photography and videography have made drones visible to people but drones can do other enormous tasks. Almost every sector needs drones starting from agriculture, mining, education, sports, infrastructure, security and surveillance, disaster management system and the defence sector. Wherever it is non-friendly for humans to do a task, a drone finds its usage.
Drones are also used in the insurance sector where they detect the inputs of the disaster that occurred on the farm due to the cyclone. Farmers will get the right amount of funds from the government through the data collected by drones.
Drones in the agriculture sector are a boon for farmers in two aspects:
- Farmers can know the productivity of the harvest
- Chemical/pesticide spraying is a time-consuming and critical activity for humans. Drones can be used to distribute the fertilisers evenly across the farm
Using drones in these sectors is cost-effective and helps in carrying out the tasks with speed.
Q: How are you building capacities for the drone industry?
A: Technology is moving at a rapid speed but skill training for the workforce is not happening at the same speed. The drone industry requires multiple skillsets like the ability to fly a drone, perform various tasks using drones, etc. Another kind of training is industry-specific training for agriculture, healthcare, etc.
We are one of the 23 approved DGCA-certified training organisations in India. We provide training in the drone sector in alignment with the requirements of various industries. We are integrating basic drone pilot training with industry-specific training, for example, cinematography.
Basic qualifications for the pilot certification are:
- Minimum 10th pass
- Minimum 18 years of age
- Have an Indian passport
He/ she should be available for five days for training. The certification will be valid for 10 years. The fee ranges from 50,000 to 2.5 lakh as per the course. It is a good investment in your career, as the beneficiaries would reap the benefits of the training in a few years.
Q: After training, can the students become entrepreneurs or self-employed? What are the emerging job roles they can get into?
A: Using the skillset, one can become an entrepreneur as an individual service provider. There is a different scale of businesses to get into.
There are five job roles in the drone sector.
- Project Manager
- Data Analyst
- Manufacturing and Maintenance
- R&D Sector
Sectors like Flying, Manufacturing and Maintenance, and Data Analyst were highlighted during the Drone Mahotsav that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Q: What is the scope for women in the drone sector?
A: In the training sessions we conduct for pilot licensing, the majority of them are women. Women are also getting into the Data Analyst role, R&D engineering, etc. other than pilot training. There are a huge number of opportunities for women too in this sector, who can perform multiple tasks.
Q: Is there a scope to train the trainees partly on simulators and partly on the ground?
A: Yes, partially this can be done only where we can provide initial skill training. However, the entire thing cannot be done online, as there should be a ground test performed by the trainees. Certification can be done online where the technology and knowledge part of it can be taught. And a person needs to undergo a stimulation test before entering into the field activity.
Q: Where do you see the drone industry heading in the next 10 years?
A: The year 2030 is the target year by which India should be the global drone hub. Looking at it, the government has already geared up by giving the right regulations and tools. There is huge support from the government and global players are looking toward India in this sector.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?
A: The drone industry is an industry where you need to enhance your skills continuously. One needs to expand their horizons to different industries. Understand and follow rules and regulations as this industry is based on the parameters of safety and security. Take it up as you are solely responsible to take this industry ahead.