ICMR, IIT-Bombay Can Now Use Drones For Covid Vaccine Delivery, Research As Modi Govt Relaxes Rules

Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and DGCA has granted conditional exemption from Drone Rules, 2021 to the two institutions.

New Delhi: The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) can now operate drones, with the grant of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conditional exemption from the Drone Rules, 2021 to both institutions.

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ICMR has received approval to conduct ‘Experimental Vaccine Delivery Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)’ using drones in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur and Nagaland up to a height of 3000 meters.

The IIT Bombay has received approval to use drones for research and development. It can now test drones on its own premises.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that this exemption will be subject to the terms and conditions of said airspace authorization, and will be valid for a period of one year “from the date of approval of said airspace clearance or until further notice., whichever occurs first “.

On September 11, 2021, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, launched in Vikarabad, Telangana, a one-of-a-kind “Sky Medicine” project, in which medicines and vaccines will be delivered using drones.

This came after a 2021 “liberalized” drone regulation was notified by the Civil Aviation Ministry on August 25.

Drones can create jobs and guide economic growth “because of their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in remote and inaccessible areas of India,” the ministry said at the time, adding that India had the potential to be a global drone hub by 2030. “Because of its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering, and enormous domestic demand ”.

While notifying the liberalized rules, the government had abolished several approvals that were previously required for the use of drones.

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