Guwahati: Union minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh on Tuesday launched India’s First ‘Center for Excellence in Research on Drone/ UAV Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Skill development Center for Drone/ UAV operation and maintenance, Nodal Center for overall administrative Drone Data management for NE region and AXOMDroneports’ at IIT Guwahati.

The centre will be used to support cargo drones delivering urgent/ medical and emergency supplies/ precious supplies to remote areas of Northeast.

This droneport was among the four initiatives inaugurated by Singh at IIT Guwahati to promote the development and adoption of drone technology in the Northeast. The programme was jointly organised by IIT Guwahati and FICCI.

These initiatives will address various aspects of the development and implementation of drone technology such as technological advancements, training, legal aspects, administrative management, logistics, and adoption for the benefit of the entire region and the country.

Addressing the event, Singh said, “I assure you that the government will leave no stone unturned. Having understood the remarkable potential of drones to transform every sector of the economy, the Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought out the New Drone Rules in August 2021, and has followed it up with a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for manufacturers. Our Focus is to develop India’s capabilities as an important and integral value multiplier to the global drone ecosystem.”

“Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. They can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas. It’s encouraging to see the IITs of our country take some timely initiatives in this direction. I pay my regards to the people who are driving the growth of drones in India,” Singh said.

The Union minister began his tour by interacting with drone companies and start-ups. He was led by IIT-G director Prof TG Sitharam, IIT-G deputy director Prof. Sashindra K. Kakoty and dean (public relations and branding) Prof. Parameswar K Iyer. Amber Dubey, joint secretary, ministry of civil aviation, Dipankar Barua, chairman, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Assam State Council and Sumeet Gupta, FICCI, New Delhi, accompanied the minister.

Singh also presided over the meeting of guests, dignitaries, Kendriya Vidyalaya-IITG students, farmers, medical practitioners, policymakers and other end users. Thereafter, he proceeded to the inauguration of the IIT Guwahati Centre for Excellence for Drones and Artificial Intelligence.

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