Drone Shakti Programme

Drone as a Service Model (DRaaS) will also help unify India's fragmented drone industry and encourage collaboration between manufacturers and service providers

The union budget has called for drones to be used to spray pesticides and nutrients and to evaluate crops to help agricultural communities. The Drone as a Service Model (DRaaS) will also  help unify India's fragmented drone industry and encourage collaboration between manufacturers and service providers, industry leaders said.  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the Drone Shakti plan, which roughly translates to "The Power of Drones". “The startup will be driven to facilitate the operation of Drone Shakti through various applications and  DRaaS. The necessary refresher courses  will be started in some ITUs in every state,” she said. Given that new technologies are expensive or that most customers do not understand their use, DRaaS allows service providers to transfer the benefits of the technology to customers in all segments without investing in  capital costs, he said. India.  

 “Drone Shakti is the government's vision to unify the efforts of the drone ecosystem. Basically, it is about institutionalizing and creating a structure where multiple stakeholders can work together. It also enables cost-effective adoption (UAV) for our customers and encourages manufacturers and service providers to collaborate on a continuous innovation cycle,” Shah added. 

  Ankit Mehta, CEO of IdeaForge, a Mumbai-based drone manufacturer, said DRaaS will accelerate the adoption of drones in various sectors in India by 510 years. “Proving drones and their benefits is critical to the expansion of the drone industry. Drone Shakti will make demos easier  through service providers,  not limited to limited-funded drone manufacturers. He added that this will prove a return on investment and help expand the business. “Drone manufacturers will not be responsible for their operations and service providers will be able to purchase drones and provide crop  monitoring as a service,” it said. 


 In January 2021, IdeaForge  signed a $20 million contract with the Indian Army  to supply drones. Although the industry is in its infancy, the use of drones is starting to gain momentum in all sectors beyond law enforcement use for surveillance and crowd control. 

  Several states are investigating the technical and safety parameters to allow  drones. Last week, the Rajasthan government conducted a pilot project on the outskirts of Jaipur to apply fertilizer to crops using drones. 

 Drone usage is expected to increase with DRaaS. However, implementation requires that customers using the service be properly trained in the use of drones. “Farmers who use drones  also need proper training  so that they know about the technology and make the most of it. Training is very important. Applying for a license and getting it through the DGCA will continue to be difficult,” Shah said. 

 Shah believes that a drone pilot's license  can be reviewed because of the administrative problems it causes. 

 Earlier this week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Welfare revised its dependent guidelines  on agricultural mechanization to encourage the use of drones in agriculture. The new rules require agricultural companies to provide  up to 100% subsidies for drone purchases. In addition, according to  the Liberalized Drones Regulation 2021 issued in August 2021, the payload of drones for agricultural activities has been increased from 300kg to 500kg. 


 In September 2021, India  approved the PLI plan for the production of drones and parts in India. 

 Ashish Aggarwal, NASSCOM's vice president of public policy, said the drone budget announcement builds on the latest plan from the Ministry of Agriculture and Labor to encourage the use of drones through subsidies. This should allow adoption in India.