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Effective Use of Drone Technology

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.

Risks:

  • 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.

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