One of the remarkable features of the Union Budget 2022 has been the increasing faith of the Government in drone (unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV) technology. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget 2022 in Parliament today, underscored the use of drone technology for a number of sectors, including startups and agriculture.
“Drones have immense potential to assist sustainable development at a scale and modernise the country. They provide employment opportunities for our youth and make Indian industry more efficient and compensated,” Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.
She added that 10%-15% of drones can be used in agriculture. She noted that Kisan Drones will be adopted for the digital assessments of the crops and assistance of the farmers for better productivity.
Commenting on this, Swapnik Jakkampudi, Co-Founder, Skye Air Mobility said, “The focus on promoting Agricultural Drones and NABARD fund to support startups will result in ensuring that the Drone Industry reaches a new milestone. The development of 100 new cargo terminals in the next 3 years will also add to the growth of Drones, enabled to use for cargo deliveries within the terminals and terminals to delivery locations.”
Mughilan Thiru Ramasamy, CEO & Co-founder, Skylark Drones said, “The announcement to promote the use of 'Kisan drones' in the agricultural sector as part of the Budget for 2022-23 will enable the drone industry to collaborate with our farmers to improve operational efficiency and maximize profitability. This is a welcome move and will make India’s agricultural sector future-ready.”
The finance minister further stressed the importance of drones in startups. She said, “Startups will be promoted to facilitate Drone Shakti through varied applications and for drones as a service.” With the growing focus on the significance of drones, it looks like the industry needs to go through upskilling and increased hiring to meet the business needs.
“The introduction of Drone Shakti is a welcome move and will ensure business momentum and drive faster adoption of UAVs in the country. It is encouraging to see the government promoting Digital India and digitisation of various sectors through the integration of UAVs through varied applications and drones as a service. India with its vast natural resources spanning from agriculture, minerals, and great infrastructure is finally getting the much-required momentum to become digital,” said Mughilan.