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Ministry of Civil Aviation said it has granted conditional exemption from Drone Policy to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay on Monday.

ICMR, the apex biomedical research body in India, has been allowed to use drones for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccine delivery in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland up to a height of 3,000 meters, the ministry said in a order dated September 10.

In a separate order on the same date, the civil aviation ministry mentioned that IIT Bombay has been granted exemption from drone rules for research, development and testing of drones in its own premises.

Both institutes had sought permission from the government to use drones for these respective purposes on August 31.

Based on a undertakings provided by ICMR and IIT Bombay, approval of airspace use shall be obtained by them from Airports Authority of India (AAI), the ministry mentioned in its orders. 

“This exemption shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the said airspace clearance and shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval of the said airspace clearance or until further orders, whichever is earlier," it said in a statement today.

Earlier, on 11th September 2021, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia had launched first of its kind ‘Medicines from the Sky’ pilot project at Vikarabad in Telangana. Under this project, drugs and vaccines will be delivered using drones in 16 ‘green zones’ across the state.

On August 25, 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had notified the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 to allow wider use of drones while balancing safety and security considerations in drone operations.

Back in June, HLL Infra Tech Services had invited expression of interest on behalf of IMCR for delivery of medical supplies to far-flung areas.

 

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