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India needs around 1 lakh drone pilots: Aviation Minister Scindia

India will require around one lakh drone pilots in the next years, said Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. A total of 12 key ministries are attempting to increase domestic demand for drone services.

Speaking at a Niti Aayog event, Scindia said, ‘We are taking the drone sector forward on three wheels. The first wheel is policy. You have seen how fast we are implementing the policy’.

He further added that the second wheel is to create incentives. ‘The PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme, which has been implemented under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will give a fresh boost to manufacturing and services in the drone sector’, the minister added.

The PLI plan was implemented in September 2021 as a follow-up to the ministry’s liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, which were announced on August 25 last year.

The third wheel, according to Scindia, is to generate domestic demand, which the 12 ministries have attempted to do. He noted that anyone who has completed Class-XII may now be trained as a drone pilot and that no college degree is necessary.

‘With two-three months of training, this person is in his or her job as a drone pilot with a monthly salary of around Rs 30,000. We need close to a lakh drone pilots in the years to come. So the opportunity is tremendous’, the minister said.

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Scindia predicted that the Indian drone sector will generate a revenue of up to Rs 15,000 crore by 2026 on September 16 last year.

On March 10, Adani Group’s joint venture business with Israeli firm Elbit, IdeaForge Technology, and 12 other drone firms were selected as beneficiaries of the PLI scheme, and the results were released on April 20. On May 5, the civil aviation ministry issued a second call for applications for the plan.


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