Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday launched an experience studio on drones at NITI Aayog with an aim to create a collaborative ecosystem to stimulate innovation and use of drones for public services.

The inaugural event was attended by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson Suman Bery and CEO Amitabh Kant.

At the event, Scindia said India will need about 1,00,000 drone pilots in coming years as the sector is on the path of “exponential growth”.

He said: “We have the potential to make India a global drone hub by 2030…It is imperative to boost the usage of drones in different industrial- and defence-related sectors to leverage the benefits of this technology, as highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

“We are actively working towards making drone services easily accessible. India will soon witness a higher number of industries embracing drone innovation. This will eventually lead to a revolution that will touch the life of every citizen, realising the PM’s goal of an Aatmabirhar Bharat,” he said.

According to Scindia, with the active participation of drone industry stakeholders and the Centre, the drone industry is on a path of exponential growth. He stated the government will ensure continuation of this rapid drone adoption by relaxing drone regulations and increasing drone literacy through programmes like Drone Shakti and Kisan Drones.

“The cutting-edge experience studio at NITI Aayog is a symbol of technology excellence, which will inspire curious minds to resolve real-world problems,” he added.

Bery said that drones are expected to be significant job creators and economic growth generators because of their reach, versatility, and ease of use, particularly in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.

“The NITI experience studio shall help promote various applications of drone technology to public and private stakeholders as well as help them fast-track adoption of drone technology within their organisations and aid in building a robust drone industry in India,” he said.

During the event, Kant noted that start-ups and enterprises will be able to showcase their innovations and next-generation technology-enabled solutions through the experience studio.

NITI Aayog’s Experience Studio. (Twitter)

According to Kant, the experience studio will allow various government departments to first-hand experience these technologies and consider how they can be contextually used in public services.

Furthermore, it will serve as a springboard to launch proofs-of-concept and pilots aimed at resolving issues that persist in service delivery, said Kant.

He also noted the experience studio will create smaller, more focused cohorts, which will eventually aid in the mainstreaming of these solutions once they are field-ready.

The Union Minister also announced the launch of the following challenges, which will be held by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA):

• Drones for Social Impact Competition: For the start-up community to showcase their capabilities to solve critical problem statements in various use cases.

• Robotics Workshop and Competition: For students of Atal Tinkering Labs to foster the spirit of innovation and problem-solving.

He assured that MoCA will provide all necessary support for these competitions as well as other events planned for the month to help develop the ecosystem.

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