Govt. allows ICRISAT to use drones for agricultural research

The institute has been granted an exemption from some of the rules applicable for deployment of drones for the duration of six months.

Updated - November 16, 2020 05:13 pm IST

Published - November 16, 2020 05:05 pm IST - Mumbai

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only.

The government has allowed Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute (ICRISAT) to use drones for agricultural research activities, an official release said on Monday.

Granting the institute a “conditional” exemption from some of the rules applicable for deployment of drones, the Civil Aviation Ministry said the institute can gather data for agricultural research activities within the ICRISAT research field using remotely piloted aircraft systems or drones.

The exemption is valid for six months from the date of issuance of permission or until the full operationalisation of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier, the release said, adding that the exemption will be valid only if all conditions and limitations are strictly adhered to.

“Drones are poised to play a big role in the agriculture sector in India especially in areas like precision agriculture, locust control and improvement in crop yield. The government is encouraging young entrepreneurs and researchers to look at ruggedized low-cost drone solutions for the over 6.6 lakh villages in India,” the release quoted Amber Dubey, joint secretary in Civil Aviation Ministry, as saying.

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