Guwahati, Nov 10 (IANS): Union Minister of State Civil Aviation General V.K. Singh (retd.) on Tuesday launched India's first Centre for Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology and Artificial Intelligence at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
The minister also inaugurated Skill development Centre for Drone/UAV operation and maintenance, Nodal Centre for overall administrative Drone Data management for northeastern region and "AXOM Droneports", which will be used to support cargo drones delivering urgent medical and emergency supplies to remote areas of the region.
An official statement said that the Droneport was among the four initiatives inaugurated by the Minister to promote the development and adoption of drone technology in the northeastern region.
Singh also interacted with representatives of drone companies and start-ups in the programme which was jointly organised by IIT, Guwahati and the industry body FICCI.
Addressing the inaugural event, the Minister said that having understood the remarkable potential of Drones to transform every sector of the economy, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought out the new Drone Rules in August and has followed it up with a Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for manufacturers.
"Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. They can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility and ease of use, especially in India's remote and inaccessible areas. It's encouraging to see the IITs of our country take some timely initiatives in this direction,a he said.IIT, Guwahati's Director Prof. T.G. Sitharam said the institute has taken the lead and made significant contributions in self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat) in several sectors and has been focusing on various technology based development projects for the benefit of the region.
"Utilizing the salient features which Drone assisted technology offers, the remote and difficult terrains in the entire northeast region can be brought within reach during any emergency. IIT Guwahati will share its research expertise, impart skill development, set-up a droneport and provide all administrative support and fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister to realize the potential of India to be a global drone hub by 2030," Prof. Sitharam added.
Highlighting the FICCI's initiatives to further augment the development of drone technology in the country, FICCI's Chairman of North Eastern Council Dipankar Barua said that the northeastern region of the country is on a progressive track and welcomes use of drone technology for overall development and especially in areas like, border security, agriculture, health, tourism, mining and infrastructure.