Drone Certification Scheme


    In News 

    • Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) notified the Drone Certification Scheme to make certification of drones simpler, faster and transparent. 


    • The drone certification scheme notified under Rule 7 of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021.
    • The certification criteria mentioned in the drone certification scheme (DCS) will be applicable to indigenous drone manufacturers, assemblers as well as importers.
    • Features: 
      • A multi-stakeholder steering committee (MSC) chaired by a known professional, who is respected by government and industry alike, will oversee the scheme, along with a QCI (Quality Control of India) secretariat. 
        • This MSC will also be supported by a technical committee (TC) and a certification committee (CC) that will be constituted by the QCI
      • The manufacturer, while submitting an application for certification of a drone, will have to submit various data and test results on topics such as weight, type of launch and recovery mechanism installed, speed, range, endurance, battery performance, type of material used in construction
    • Objective:
      •  To provide the minimum requirements for airworthiness — safety and security requirements — for drones and enable their evaluation for certification.

    Other related Initiatives 

    • The government has been working to establish a world-leading drone ecosystem in India, which will create the physical and digital infrastructure to support safe, efficient and secure access to the Indian airspace by millions of drones.
    •  Liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 :  The Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA ) notified liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.
    • PLI scheme  : The MoCA approved a PLI scheme in september 2021  for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years .
      • The total amount allocated for the PLI scheme for drones and drone components is INR 120 crore spread over three financial years.  This amount is nearly double the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21. 
    • The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation has granted conditional exemption for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) usage to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW)
    • Digital Sky Platform’ : It is a first of its kind central portal that implements “no permission, no take-off” (NPNT).
      • It is a novel system of software-based self-enforcement to minimize deviations from the Civil Aviation Regulations in the country.
    • Medicine from the sky:
      • The Telangana state government has selected 16 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) spread around Vikarabad area hospital for pilot testing the ambitious project ‘Medicine from the sky’.
      • It is the first-of-its-kind project involving the delivery of medicines through multiple drones.
    • Rustom-II:
      • India’s indigenous  Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE)Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) development programme (Rustom-II ) achieved an important milestone by reaching an altitude of 25,000 feet and an endurance of 10 hours.
        • With some delays in development, the Rustom-2 last year successfully flew for eight hours at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
    • i-Drone : The ICMR’s Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone) was launched in Manipur.
      • The i-Drone was designed to overcome vaccine delivery challenges in hard-to-reach terrains of India, by deploying unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to these areas. 

    About Drone

    • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, are aircraft either controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. 
    • There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft- Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft.
    • Remotely Piloted Aircraft consists of remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design.
      • Remotely piloted aircraft have been divided into five categories based on their weight-
        • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
        • Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg.
        • Small: From 2 kg to 25kg.
        • Medium : From 25kg to 150kg.
        • Large: Greater than 150kg.


    • Drone technology is evolving on a daily basis with new improvements coming in rapid scale. 
      • The drones offer tremendous benefits to almost every sector of the economy, including agriculture, infrastructure, emergency response, transportation and geospatial mapping. 
    • Delivery of medicines, collection of samples from remote or epidemic/pandemic-affected areas by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • Petroleum and Power Ministries have been asked to fly drones for real-time surveillance of assets and transmission lines, theft prevention, visual inspection/maintenance, construction planning and management, etc.
      • It includes anti-poaching actions, monitoring of forests and wildlife, pollution assessment, and evidence gathering.
    • It will tremendously help start-ups and youth working in the sector. It will open up possibilities for innovation & business.


    • Funding from the Government is a problem. Manufacturing at large scales and its deployment will require  a lot of money and strategising.
    • They are cheap, so anyone can have easy access to them.
    • Their anonymous nature is a big risk to know about the origin of the drone. Drone attacks can be launched from within as well. 
    • Swarm drones, where scores of drones overwhelm and confuse detection systems, resulting in some of the drones sneaking through.


    • The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s decision to liberalize the drone policy even after the recent drone incidents in Jammu showcases the government’s bold approach to promote the use of drones.
      • It focuses on the development of counter-drone technology to address the threat posed by rogue drones.

    Source :BS