New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is working towards finding solutions to the rogue drones menace, as witnessed in Venezuala a year ago when President Nicolas Maduro was targetted with explosives, in an effort to protect critical national assets.
The government has constituted a task force under the chairmanship of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security Director General Rakesh Asthana to find the best ways of countering unmanned aerial systems that are illegal to use in India, but are proliferating due to lack of regulations against their imports.
“The committee is in the process of finalising its reports after live trials. It will be submitting the reports to the Civil Aviation ministry soon,” Asthana said at a daylong conference on ‘Countering Rogue Drones’ organised by FICCI here today. The committee is also tasked to set standards to safeguard civil aviation assets against possible rogue drone attacks.
Defence Production Joint Secretary Sanjay Jaju, in his address, said drones had a huge potential for both security and commercial use purpose. He said Niti Aayog, India’s government think tank for development set up in 2014 after Modi came to power by dismantling the erstwhile Planning Commission, has estimated that the drone sector would be worth $50 billion in the next 15 years.
Calling for indigenisation of drone manufacturing and counter-drone solutions, Jaju said local manufacturing should be done not only to derive economic potential, but also to check the internal and external threats faced by the country.
“If we can manufacture world class drones within the country, we can obviously manufacture world class counter drone measures. Otherwise, dependence on global market for those technologies will continue,” he said.
FICCI committee on drones co-chair and Dynamatic Technologies Ltd. defence business head Lt. Gen (Retired) Sanjeev Madhok, in his opening address, noted that drones have effectively disrupted business and operating models.
Drones have empowered organisations and enabled them to capture real-time, highly accurate data in a most cost-effective manner, he said.
IdeaForge co-founder and chief executive officer Ankit Mehta, who is also a co-chair of the FICCI committee on drones, said some thought also has to be given to counter-drone systems that not just target the drones but actually target or find ways and means of locating the person, who is actually operating them.
FICCI-EY report on ‘Countering Rogue Drones’ was also released during the conference which emphasises the need for counter-UAV systems to be deployed.
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