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ICMR gets Aviation Ministry nod to use drones for vaccine delivery

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) have been granted conditional exemptions from the Drone Rules, 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The ICMR has received approval for using drones to deliver experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccines in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland up to a height of 3,000 metres. IIT Bombay has received permission to conduct research, development, and testing on its own premises using drones.

Accordingly, this exemption will be subject to the terms and conditions of the above-mentioned airspace clearance, and shall last for a period of one year after approval of said clearance, or until further orders are issued, whichever is earlier.

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On September 11, 2021, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, launched the first-of-its-kind drone delivery of drugs and vaccines ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project in Telangana state. Scindia recently announced a drone policy in India and stated, ‘India will be a drone hub globally by 2030.’

The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced the liberalised drone rules in August 2021 in an effort to usher in a time of great growth while keeping safety and security factors in mind.


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