Home Department issues order sanctioning Rs.95 lakh for three UAVs

A police proposal for purchasing three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Anna University, a move essentially aimed at better surveillance, has received financial sanction of the State government.

An order from the Home Department said, the Director General of Police had sent a proposal, for procuring three UAVs (at a cost of Rs.95 lakh) from the university, for use by the police force. The proposal was sent following the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa’s announcement, at the Collectors and Police Officers conference last year.

The proposal further pointed out that increasingly law enforcement agencies across the world were using UAV for operational purposes such as crowd management, route or area surveillance and jungle operations. To be in line with them, the Tamil Nadu police too wanted to use the UAVs for maintaining law and order. An MoU would be signed by the police with the university, shortly, towards this. The university would help police personnel develop skills in the relevant area of technology for handling them. Sanctioning Rs.95 lakh for the UAVs, the State government said the transfer of knowledge and other collaboration with Anna University would be done free of cost. Welcoming the government sanction, K. Senthil Kumar, Associate Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, MIT, Anna University, said the drones which were long only associated with military operations have now been recognised for their civilian applications.

The former President, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, wanted the university to tap this potential, Dr. Kumar said. He further added that the details regarding the specifications of the UAVs would be discussed with the police.

The drones could be used for a host of applications such as monitoring traffic, reaching out to areas affected by natural calamities and so on. According to him, the MoU would be signed shortly between the Vice-Chancellor of the university and the DGP, paving way for the new technology to be inducted for police surveillance in the State. It, however, would not be the first time that UAVs of Anna University would be used as during the flash floods in Uttarakhand a team led by Dr.Kumar had gone there with the equipment and helped in the rescue operations.

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