Drones Current Affairs - 2020

Quidich announced successful completion of India’s First NPNT Complaint Drone Flight

Mumbai based Quidich Innovation Labs Private Limited has announced that it has successfully completed the first No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight of India. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) identified the green field near Karnataka’s Tumkur were the first NPNT compliant drone flight of India was carried out.

The drone used for the flight is an Asteria Aerospace (Bengaluru based company) manufactured A200 micro drone. Back in October 2019, this A200 micro-drone was the first drone in India to be issued the Unique Identification Number (UIN) by the DGCA. U0000001 is the UIN of the A200 micro drone that has completed the first NPNT compliant drone flight of India.

The UIN- U0000001 A200 micro drone is owned by Quidich Innovation Labs Private Limited.

Background

For certified and compliant drone operations in India, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the Digital Sky Platform on 1st December 2018. Under the Digital Sky platform, regulations and policies for flying Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS- means drones) were announced, as per which Nano drones can fly in India without any registration in the Digital Sky Portal or UIN.

For Micro and above category drones, obtaining UIN was made compulsory for the operators and pilots of the drone. The UIN can be obtained after proper registration of the drone (details of manufacturer and operator) from the Digital Sky web portal of the DGCA.

Portal GARUD launched by DGCA

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) operating under Ministry of Civil Aviation launched “GARUD” Portal. GARUD is Government Authorisation for Relief Using Drones.

Highlights

The GARUD portal will assist state entities to obtain exemptions from central government to operate drones for COVID-19 purposes. The portal is important as several state entities are deploying drones to disinfect public places. Especially, the smart cities are employing drones to spray disinfectants on the roads and other public places.

Start Ups

Several startups in India are coming up with new technologies using drones to spray disinfectants and sanitizers. For instance, the Garuda Aerospace startup has invented “Corona Killer” drone to spray disinfectants on buildings that are 450 feet high.

At this stage, while Indian Economy is declining at faster rate due to the COVID-19 and lock down, it is essential to keep up such startups. These startups will not only help in fighting the virus, but will also help in reviving the growth of the economy.

Growth Rate

Several World Financial Organizations have projected declining growth rate of India. The World Bank expects Indian economy to grow at 1.5% to 2.8%. The IMF predicted growth rate of the country to be 1.9%. The Fitch ratings cut India’s growth rate to 2%.