Topic – Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
7) India’s new drone policy is shortsighted. Critically comment.(250 words)
Why this question
The article does an in-depth analysis of India’s drone policy by getting into its pros and cons along with suggestions regarding what would work in Indian milieu. Drone policy is an issue of importance and has the potential to act as a catalyst for this nascent industry in India.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss the pros and cons of India’s drone policy and expects us to provide a fair and balanced personal opinion over the merits of the policy.
Critically comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Discuss about the evolution of India’s drone policy
- Discuss the key points of India’s drone policy
- DGCA has defined remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) as an unmanned aircraft piloted from a remote pilot station
- The DGCA has segregated drones into five different categories
i) Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grams.
ii) Micro : From 250 grams to 2kg.
iii) Small : From 2kg to 25kg.
iv) Medium : From 25kg to 150kg.
v) Large : Greater than 150kg.
- All drones, other than in the nano category, shall apply to DGCA for import clearance and based on that Directorate General of Foreign Trade shall issue license for import of RPAS.
- Operators of civil drones will need to get a permit from the DGCA. There are exceptions for:
i) Nano RPA operating below 50 feet (15 m) in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises.
ii) Micro RPA operating below 200 feet (60 m) in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises – but will need to inform local police 24 hours prior.
iii) RPA owned and operated by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies but after intimating local police.
- Discuss the pros and cons of the policy
- While the new drone policy establishes an intricate system of application and approval procedures, it is lacking when it comes to thorough monitoring of drones. It also ignores the implications of free movement of smaller drones, which have been exempted from many of the regulatory procedures.
- Exceptions to permit criteria for specific sized drones are likely to cause a mushrooming of drone operators. In that event, how will the government monitor all drones flying below 15 meters
- Risk of unethical activity in high rise cities etc
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion and give suggestions.