The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption from Drone Rules, 2021 to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B).
The ICMR has got permission for conducting an experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccine delivery in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland upto a height of 3000 meters using drones. The IIT-B has received permission for research, development and testing of drones in its own premises.
This exemption to the ICMR shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the said airspace clearance and shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval of the said airspace clearance or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Earlier, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia had launched the first of its kind ‘Medicines from the Sky' project at Vikarabad in Telangana under which drugs and vaccines were to be delivered using drones on September 11.
"The ministry's new drone rules have unlocked the drone industry and the innovation therein on the principles of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring. Drone is a frontier technology that can be used to access otherwise inaccessible areas, and thus allow equitable access to basic services like healthcare for even the farthest and remotest of areas. India is all set to become the drone hub of the world by 2030, and the potential of our innovators is only infinite," said Scindia while launching the ‘Medicines from the Sky' project.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation notified the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 to usher in an era of super-normal growth while balancing safety and security considerations in drone operations on August 25, 2021.