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Drones in covid war

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Photo: HT

Used at scale, drones could help with the distribution of light packages, and especially in the task of reaching vaccines, drugs and other vital medical supplies to poorly connected parts of the country. But the regulatory controls placed on UAVs by India’s drone policy need to be strictly exercised

If all goes to plan, drones could soon be playing a crucial role in our war on covid. Expressions of interest for delivery of medical supplies by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been invited by HLL Infra Tech Services Ltd on behalf of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Such UAVs, the specifications provide, must be able to fly a minimum 35km with a payload of at least 4kg and back.

If all goes to plan, drones could soon be playing a crucial role in our war on covid. Expressions of interest for delivery of medical supplies by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been invited by HLL Infra Tech Services Ltd on behalf of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Such UAVs, the specifications provide, must be able to fly a minimum 35km with a payload of at least 4kg and back.

Used at scale, drones could help with the distribution of light packages, and especially in the task of reaching vaccines, drugs and other vital medical supplies to poorly connected parts of the country. Hub-and-spoke networks of drone bases could be set up for UAVs and, if run efficiently, such a system would enable us to extend health assistance to underserved areas. But allowing so many drones in Indian airspace would entail some risk, given how they can be misused for unlawful purposes, from spying to the delivery of arms and banned substances. So, the regulatory controls placed on UAVs by India’s drone policy need to be strictly exercised. We don’t have to limit licences, as in civil aviation, but in general, the sector should be kept under similarly close watch.

Used at scale, drones could help with the distribution of light packages, and especially in the task of reaching vaccines, drugs and other vital medical supplies to poorly connected parts of the country. Hub-and-spoke networks of drone bases could be set up for UAVs and, if run efficiently, such a system would enable us to extend health assistance to underserved areas. But allowing so many drones in Indian airspace would entail some risk, given how they can be misused for unlawful purposes, from spying to the delivery of arms and banned substances. So, the regulatory controls placed on UAVs by India’s drone policy need to be strictly exercised. We don’t have to limit licences, as in civil aviation, but in general, the sector should be kept under similarly close watch.

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