Drones for Development: This is how India is Doing it

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Drones offer a variety of usecases and Indian government is using Drones for multiple reasons.

Take a look at this collection.

1. Kempegowda International Airport at Bangalore to monitor construction progress with drones

To monitor the new construction projects currently under way at various locations, Kempegowda International Airport at Bangalore would deploy drones to capture high resolution videos and photographs of construction activities at various locations.

The airport is currently building a new terminal (T2) ,a New South Parallel Runway, Apron Project and Forecourt Project. The total area involved in these projects is more than 1,000 acres. 

BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Limited) has already issued tenders for this project.

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2. India has it's own Drone Olympics (conducted at Aero Show Bengaluru in February 2019)

Ministry of Defence along with the Drone Federation of India conducted 'Drone Olympics' at this year’s Aero Show at Bengaluru.

It was conducted between 18 – 21 February 2019  and consisted of three different challenges: 1)The Surveillance Challenge, 2) Supply Drop/Delivery Challenge and 3) Drone Swarm/Formation challenge.

"The aim of the challenge was to identify startups/innovators in India with capabilities that can potentially be leveraged for several critical applications such as Medicine and Organ Delivery, Last Mile Connectivity, Disaster Relief Management among others."

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3. Madras High Court : Use only drones to determine the exact mining of minerals

Madras High Court has directed the TamilNadu state government to use only drones technology to 'monitor, control, explore, estimate and quantify mining and quarrying contacts. 

While court has said that both MTS (Mining Tenement System) and Drones technology can be used simultaneously, at no times the Drones use can be dispensed with.

A division bench of Justices M Venugopal and S Vaidyanathan passed the order on a PIL by advocate VBR Menon.

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4. IRDAI wants insurance companies to use drones to reduce claim settlement period

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is planning to change the norms for surveyors, so that they could use emerging technologies like drones to reduce claim settlement gestation period.

There have been already an early adoption of drones in in the general insurance industry.

  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance has used drone technology for assessment of quantum of cultivable land it's yield in Gujarat.
  • Tata AIG used drones for primary assessment of infrastructural damage due to Cyclone Vardha in 2016.
  • Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company mulls the use of drones in even accident claims cases, where the need is to file the and process the claim as soon as possible, which could be in inaccessible areas.

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5. Survey Of India to use drones for land mapping

Established in 1767, under colonial India, Survey Of India has the responsibility to map every inch of the country. The organisation has already signed MoUs with Karnataka and Maharashtra government worth Rs.70 Crores each for land mapping.

It is also in talks with Uttarakhand and Haryana governments for projects of similar type and scale, the total worth of which would be Rs.150 Crores.

It can map a complete state of the size of Haryana in 15 months. 

Drones use has been at the forefront of such projects and chief enablers. The organisation has been actively using drones for past one year. 

The organisation is augmenting it's capability of mapping by acquiring 110 drones. In the pipeline is the use of advanced technologies like drone mounted LIDAR.

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6. Domestic market for commercial drones would be bigger than military by 2021

Drones are now being deployed from food delivery to iron ore mines.

The domestic market for commercial drones will have a market value of $885.7 million, according to market intelligence firm BIS Research

In one of the examples of increasing use of commercial drones, Tata Steel is using drones at it's Noamundi iron ore mines in Jharkhand, for monitoring of employees and equipment, along with detection of illegal mining.

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7. Survey of India and Maharashtra sign MoU to do large scale drone mapping

As reported earlier about Maharashtra government's plans to utilise drones for large scale land survey and mapping, an MoU has been signed between Maharashtra government and Survey Of India regarding this on 3rd March 2019

Settlement Commissioner (SC) & Director of Land Records (DLR) had earlier approached Survey of India (Sol) to undertake the large-scale mapping of Village Gaothan (Abadi) areas.

"Drone/UAV based survey shall be carried out for around 40,000 Village Gaothan (Abadi) areas in the state of Maharashtra. Inhabited areas surrounding Gaothan may also be covered under the project for the purpose of taking imagery."

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8. This startup is helping oil and gas pipelines safe from encroachment

India has 30,000 Kms of oil and gas pipeline and Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board requires that these pipelines be inspected at least once a month, especially for right-of-way. Further no activity is allowed on 5 metres on either side of the pipeline.

Current monitoring system either by helicopters or by foot are either very expensive or time consuming.

Startup FeatherDyn has developed a prototype made of glass fibre which would carry high-definition cameras to monitor pipelines effectively.

DGCA has provided the company location at Munnar to test-flight it's drone and test it's capability.

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9. Students develop ‘Flying Farmer’, A Drone to Solve Pesticide Treatment, Weed Detection Problems

With rising labour migration to cities, getting hand on a 'farm hand' is becoming increasingly difficult for farmers.

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A group of 45 students along with five faculty members from the Electronics, Mechanical and Agricultural Engineering department of Lovely Professional University have developed the 'Flying Farmer'.

The Flying Farmer which would cost between Rs.10,000 to 15,000 depending on the usage, would be used for effective pesticide treatment and weed infestation area identification.

LPU is going to open source the technology, for farmer's welfare.

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10. Karnataka will do land-surveys after 53 years, thanks to drones

Drones are activating long pending land surveys in India, which are very crucial for both exchequer and citizen.

Karnataka would drone survey it's 5 districts (Tumakuru, Hassan, Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, Ramanagara) and Bengaluru districts using drones with the help of Survey Of India.

The last land survey in Karnataka state was done in 1966.

The accuracy of these drone mapping would be up to 5 cms accuracy in urban areas and 12.5 cms in urban areas. Land mapping with such accuracy has never been done in India.

Bengaluru would be 3D-mapped.

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11. Maharashtra to land survey 40,000 villages with drones

Maharashtra state government did a pilot project for land survey at Soneri Village in Purandar Taluka in Pune district using drones, some time back. The goal was to assess the feasibility of expediting land surveys and thus issue of ‘Property Cards’with the use of modern technology.

Buoyed with this initial success, the state government now is all set to land survey 40,000 villages of Maharashtra using drones.

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