(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Drone Revolution Changing the Face of Rural India

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Drone Revolution Changing the Face of Rural India


Drone Revolution Changing the Face of Rural India


  • Given the global enthusiasm for employing drones in agricultural activities, India is actively exploring and promoting drone technology. 
  • This is because these cost-effective, unmanned aerial vehicles hold promise to address various challenges and issues prevalent in Indian agriculture. The Indian Government has initiated several schemes to promote the drone industry within the country, and many of these are especially relevant to agriculture, rural society, and rural economy.

Initiatives to Promote the Drone Culture

  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: The PLI scheme for drones and drone components offers incentives to manufacturers in this domain. Its objective is to stimulate significant growth in the emerging drone sector, potentially generating over 10,000 direct jobs within the next three years.
  • Scheme for Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs): With an allocated outlay of Rs. 1,261 crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26, this scheme focuses on providing drones to women self-help groups (SHGs) engaged in agriculture. The drones are intended to assist with crop monitoring, yield estimation, and various other agricultural activities.
  • Ban on Drone Imports:In a move to bolster the domestic drone industry, the Indian Government has imposed a ban on the import of drones and drone components. This strategic measure is anticipated to fuel the growth of the local drone manufacturing industry and subsequently lead to the creation of job opportunities.
  • Drone Shakti Scheme for Startups: This scheme targets startups within the drone industry, offering financial assistance for research and development, product development, and marketing. By providing crucial support to startups, the scheme aims to foster innovation, growth, and employment opportunities within the drone sector.
  • The Drone Rules, 2021: To regulate the drone industry in India, the Government has introduced ‘The Drone Rules, 2021’. These rules establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for drone operations within the country.
  • Certification scheme: In tandem with its comprehensive initiatives to boost the drone industry, the Government of India has introduced a certification scheme for agricultural drones.
  • Drones in Agricultural Research: In a noteworthy development on 16 November 2020, the Indian Government granted the International Crops Research Institute (ICRISAT) permission to utilise drones for agricultural research activities.
  • SMAM: The Indian Government is also providing financial assistance for the purchase of drones under the Sub-Missionon Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) for its demonstration on the farmer’s field. Under the scheme, farmers are provided with the benefit of subsidies ranging from 50 to 80 per cent for buying agricultural machinery. Under the scheme, priority is given to women farmers.
  • Boost for Rural Economy: Drones prove valuable across various industries, yet their influence on agriculture, and consequently, the rural economy, is a subject of significant interest and harbors considerable promise. Thanks to their versatile capabilities, they have the potential to transcend and address challenges associated with the lack of infrastructure and continuous power supply in India’s rural heartland.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: By swiftly covering expansive agricultural landscapes, drones empower farmers to efficiently gather data and monitor crops, enabling early issue detection, and prompt interventions.
  • Increased Crop Yields: Utilising drones to collect data on crop health facilitates farmers in identifying areas requiring attention. Addressing these concerns can lead to improved crop yields, ultimately augmenting profits.
  • Cost Reduction: Drones contribute to cost savings by pinpointing areas needing intervention, reducing reliance on manual labor, and minimising the usage of pesticides and other chemicals.

Pros and Cons

  • Agri-drones in Indian agriculture bring several advantages, enhancing security, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. 
  • Trained drone pilots operate these devices, minimising the risk of misuse. The high efficiency of drones, working at double the speed of human labor without operational delays, contributes to timely and effective agricultural practices.
  • Furthermore, the use of ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying technology in agricultural drones leads to significant water savings compared to traditional spraying methods. 
  • The low cost and easy maintenance of agri-drones, featuring sturdy designs, detachable containers, low-cost frames, and precise pesticide spraying capabilities, make them accessible and practical for Indian farmers.


  • Moreover, the knowledge and skill required for using drone technology daily can be a hurdle for the average farmer. Acquiring the necessary expertise becomes essential, and farmers may find themselves dependent on individuals with experience in drone operations, highlighting the need for training and education in this emerging technology. Given the strong government focus, regulatory backing, liberal incentives, and appropriate training programmes, drones have the potential to revolutionise Indian agriculture, playing a pivotal role in uplifting the rural economy.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra