Use Of Drones:
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has suggested to the other Ministries to promote effective use of Drone technology.
- This suggestion was made as part of the initiatives to make India a global hub for drones under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and in the backdrop of the Union Government rolling out the liberalised Drone Rules 2021.
- Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost every sector of the economy, national defence, agriculture, law enforcement, and mapping, among others.
- Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA).
- Originally developed for the military and aerospace industries, drones have found their way into the mainstream because of the enhanced levels of safety and efficiency they bring.
- A drone’s autonomy level can range from remotely piloted (a human controls its movements) to advanced autonomy, which means that it relies on a system of sensors and LIDAR detectors to calculate its movement.
Application of Drone Technology:
- Drone system can be used as a symmetric weapon against terrorist attacks.
- Drones can be integrated into the national airspace system.
- Deployment of drones for combat, communication in remote areas, counter-drone solutions can be done.
- Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved a project with the Telangana government for using drone technology to deliver vaccines in remote areas.
- In the agriculture sector, micronutrients can be spread with the help of drones.
- It can also be used for performing surveys for identifying the challenges faced by the farmers.
- The drone technology in the SVAMITVA scheme launched by the Government of India, within less than a year, has helped about half a million village residents to get their property cards by mapping out the abadi areas.
- Drones can be used for real-time surveillance of assets and transmission lines, theft prevention, visual inspection/maintenance, construction planning and management, etc
- They can be used for anti-poaching actions, monitoring of forests and wildlife, pollution assessment, and evidence gathering.
- Drones are also significant for the law enforcement agencies, the fire and emergency services wherever human intervention is not safe and the healthcare services.
- Increased Risk of Armed Attacks: Operation of drones without any adequate legal backing can pose several security threats.
- Incidents of arms being dropped by drones are also there such as the recent Jammu drone attacks.
- They can be put to destructive use, to slam into critical targets, destroy infrastructure and so on.
- Paramilitary Not Exempted from the Rules: The drone rules 2021 are not applicable to the army, navy or the airforce.
- However, it still includes paramilitary forces. BSF is suffering a lot of issues due to the drones coming across the lines.
- Cheaper Cost Enables a Larger Population to Procure Drones: Drones are relatively cheaper in comparison to conventional weapons and yet can achieve far more destructive results which is the primary reason for increased number of drone attacks.
- Delivery of Mass Destruction Weapons: What makes combat drones most dangerous is the threat of them being used to deliver weapons of mass destruction.
- Procurement of combat drones by non-state actors poses serious threats.