Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday India will need around one lakh drone pilots in the coming years as several central ministries are trying to boost the indigenous demand for drone services in the country.
Launching the NITI Aayog’s Experience Studio on drones in Delhi, Scindia said “We have the potential to make India a global drone hub by 2030. It is imperative for us to boost the usage of drones in different industrial- and defence-related sectors to leverage the benefits of this technology, as highlighted by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“We are actively working towards making drone services easily accessible. India will soon witness a higher number of industries embracing drone innovation. This will eventually lead to a revolution that will touch the life of every citizen, thereby realizing the PM’s goal of an Aatmabirhar Bharat,’ Scindia said.
The aviation minister said “We are taking the drone sector forward on three wheels. The first wheel is of policy. You have seen how fast we are implementing the policy.” The second wheel is to create incentives, he added.
“The PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme, which has been implemented under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will give a fresh boost to manufacturing and services in the drone sector,” the minister said.
Scindia said the third wheel is to create indigenous demand and 12 union ministries have tried to create that demand.
The union minister further said, today someone having a class 12 passing certificate can be trained as a drone pilot, as no college degree is required for it. We need close to one lakh drone pilots in the years to come. So the opportunity is tremendous, the minister added.
“With two-three months of training, this person is in his or her job as a drone pilot with a monthly salary of around ₹30,000,” the minister further said.
Scindia also announced the launch of two drone competitions, which will be held by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the civil aviation ministry:
(a) ‘Drones for Social Impact Competition’: For the start-up community to showcase their capabilities to solve critical problem statements in various use cases.
(b) ‘Robotics Workshop and Competition’: For students of Atal Tinkering Labs to foster the spirit of innovation and problem-solving.
The minister assured that the civil aviation ministry will extend all the support required for these competitions as well as for organizing other events planned during the month to help develop the ecosystem.
Scindia had, on September 16 last year, said the Indian drone industry will see a turnover of up to ₹15,000 crore by 2026.
The first batch of applications for the PLI scheme was invited on March 10 and the results were announced on April 20. The civil aviation ministry invited the second batch of applications for the scheme on May 5.