FICCI organised the two-day conference on “Making India a Global Drone Hub” and “FICCI SMART Policing Awards” on September 1, 2022, in collaboration with the Vivekananda International Foundation.
The event was attended by chief guests, Gen (Dr) VK Singh (Retd), Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India; Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt of India; Mr Jalaj Dani, Member, SCALE Committee, DPIIT, Govt of India; Mr Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Director General, DGFT, Govt of India; Mr Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India; Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, Vivekananda International Foundation & Former Deputy National Security Advisor; Mr Ankit Gupta, Co-Chair, FICCI Committee on Drones; Mr Arun Chawla, Director General, FICCI.
Gen (Dr) VK Singh (Retd), Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, emphasized that India must prioritise quality, innovation, and indigenization leading to lower cost if it is to become a worldwide centre for drones. “This is how industry will be able to capture the market in India and abroad. Initial investment on research and development will get you the market and will get you what has been invested in larger measure,”. Drone use has increased dramatically in India, “Imports must be reduced, and policy alone will not suffice. We must make sure that you manufacture here if India is to become a centre for drone production. Initial costs could be higher, but as volume increases, prices will decrease.”
Additionally, Gen. Singh observed that there is a need to expand the commercial drone industry because drone applications have grown over the past few years, the government is also trying to make sure the PLI scheme is successful in boosting the business. Also, it will persuade others to go on board so that they can benefit from the PLI plan and advance their own markets. He quotes saying, “Because there is relatively little military demand, the industry will not expand if the commercial market does not expand. Industry will take the market with a straightforward answer at a reduced cost, and the more it expands, the better it is since you establish a hub and many people’s dependence on it. As manufacturers of drones, you have to create your own system, suppliers and component makers which will ensure that this thrives as a market in India “.
The sector is asked to work with the government to enhance the number of teachers for RTPO (Remote Pilot Training Organisation) training, “All three regulators (UGC, AICTE, and NCVT) are developing a credit transfer framework where a 30-hour course can be transferred from one to the other in the next two to three months,” according to Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India.
Mr. Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, drones have become a crucial component of the nation’s national security and that the development of the drone industry in India depends on the three Ts: type certification, training, and tracking. He said, “We are heading towards a completely system-based system, so I urge the industry to create quality standards to establish manuals and policy ideas since quality is what will move the country forward”. Speaking about the training of drone pilots, Mr. Amber Dubey stated that the government is also attempting to increase the 29 drone training institutions currently present in India. Along with the industry and other stakeholders, we are developing the regulations for a drone tracker and together with FICCI, we are developing regulations for drone trackers.
According to Mr. Jalaj Dani, Member, SCALE Committee, DPIIT, Government of India, drones can benefit not only the defence industry but also other industries. Innovation will be important for this industry. India must take the lead in drone technology and become the global hub for the technology.
Mr. Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Director General, DGFT, Government of India, the drone industry’s creative eco-system is coming up with fresh ideas for using drones in a variety of ways. “DGFT is aiming to establish an atmosphere that facilitates exports. We have published draft guidelines and urge the industry for feedback so that we can create policies that will further facilitate exports”.
Co-Chair of the FICCI Committee on Drones, Mr. Ankit Gupta, stated, “Making India a leader in the drone manufacturing industry would help the nation achieve its goal of having a US$ 5 trillion economy with a greater emphasis on the Make in India opportunity, and once achieved, its success will help the country’s prosperity across many sectors. We can achieve our goal of making India the world’s drone hub by 2030 if the government and business work together in a symbiotic way.”
According to Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation and a former deputy national security advisor stated, “The drone industry has limitless potential, and India should really not overlook the opportunity to become a leader in this field. Limiting drone imports is a crucial step toward Atmanirbharta”.
Also read:Top 7 initiatives by the government to propel fast growth in the Drone sector https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/top-7-initiatives-by-the-government-to-propel-fast-growth-in-the-drone-sector/
FICCI is dedicated to working in partnership with the government to realize the Prime Minister’s objective of making India a global hub for drones, one reason why the drone industry will keep expanding is the rising number of drone applications combined with favourable government regulations and the rising number of start-ups, as said by Mr. Arun Chawla, Director General of FICCI.
During the event, the FICCI-EY report “Making India the Drone Hub of the World” was released.