News: The Rajouri district administration on Wednesday banned the sale or possession of drones or flying objects after at least five sorties of drones around security installations in Jammu since Sunday, including the IAF’s technical airport, have the security agencies on the tenterhooks.
About Drones in India:
Drone Operator Permits for Different UAS Categories
Nano Drones:For drones weighing less than or equal to 250 grams, no license or permit is needed.
Micro or Small Drones:To fly a drone weighing more than 250 grams and less than or equal to 25 kilograms, whether for commercial or recreational purposes, you need the UAS Operator Permit-I (UAOP-I). This permit mandates that the pilot follows the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prepared by an authorized UAS operator and accepted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The operations must be limited to visual line of sight and the drone must not carry any dangerous goods. In fact, drone delivery of any kind should not be attempted with UAOP-I.
Medium and Large Drones:For any operation that requires a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms, you need the UAS Operator Permit-II (UAOP-II). Here also, all operations must be conducted in accordance with the Operations Manual prepared by an authorized UAS operator and approved by the DGCA. You will also need a Safety Management System in place, and take prior clearance from Air Traffic and Air Defence Control. In this category, carriage of dangerous goods, BVLOS operations, and drone deliveries are allowed – subject to clearance by the DGCA, of course.
Exemptions to Drone Permit
The Central Government can exempt any Ministry, Department, or a government-affiliated agency – at both the central and state level – from the requirements of a drone operator permit if it is national interest or helps to uphold the security of the country.
Drone Flying Restrictions in India
No Micro drone shall fly beyond a height of 60 meters above ground level (AGL) or a maximum speed of 25 meters per second (m/s).
No Small drone shall fly beyond a height of 120 meter AGL or a maximum speed of 25 m/s.
Medium or Large drones shall fly in accordance with the conditions specified in the Operator Permit issued by the DGCA.
Prohibited areas are strictly off-limits, while for restricted areas, prior permission from the DGCA is required.
No-Fly Zones in India for Drone Operations
In India, no drone shall be flown:
Within a distance of 5 km from the perimeter of international airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad
Within a distance of 3 km from the perimeter of any civil, private, or defense airports
Within 25 km from the international border which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC), and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL)
Within 3 km from the perimeter of military installations/facilities without clearance
Within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk in Delhi
Within 2 km from the perimeter of strategic locations/vital installations notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, unless clearance is obtained
Within a 3 km radius of State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals
Beyond 500 mt (horizontal) into the sea from the coastline, provided the location of the ground station is on a fixed platform on land
From a moving vehicle or ship or any kind of makeshift floating platforms
Over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries without prior permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Within permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger areas
For an expanded list of no-fly zones in India, scroll down to the bottom of this article and see the document issued by the government for 2021 India drone rules.
Flight Permission and Flight Log
Except for the Nano category, all drone operations shall take place only after prior permission has been received for a flight or series of flights through the Digital Sky online platform. The drone operator will also ensure that the aircraft stays within the defined area for which permission was obtained, and furnish a log of each flight through the online platform.
Drone Pilots and Data Security
A drone pilot is liable for the protection of any data gathered during a drone operation. You must follow suitable procedures and have hardware in place to securely store or dispose of such data. Moreover, you have to ensure that the data gathered during operations is not shared with any third party without the prior permission of the person to whom the data pertains.
Obtaining a Drone Pilot License in India
Student Remote Pilot License:These are issued for a fee by an authorized training organization. A student license remains valid for a maximum period of 5 years, and can be renewed for an additional period of 2 years.
Remote Pilot License:These are issued for a fee by the DGCA, subject to the submission of a certificate of training and a skill test report from an authorized training organization. A remote pilot license is valid for 10 years, and can be renewed for another 10 years with each renewal application.
Minimum Qualifications:You should have passed class X or its equivalent examination from a recognized Board. You should clear a medical examination as specified by the DGCA. You should also be able to clear a background check conducted by a concerned government agency for the verification of your character and antecedents.
Age Criteria:The minimum age to apply for both student and remote pilot licenses is 18 years. The maximum age at which you can exercise the privileges of a remote pilot license for commercial activities is 65 years.
Radio Operators Certificate:A valid Radio operators’ certificate of proficiency and license endorsed for Aeromobile service is needed under three circumstances:
If you are seeking training on Medium and Large category drones,
If you need training for flying Micro and Small category drones in controlled air space, or
If you will be flying in and around airports.
News: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a viability gap funding support of up to ₹19,041 crore for the implementation of the BharatNet project through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in 16 States.
About BharatNet and National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN):
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.
The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs). To achieve this, the existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary. Dark fibre network thus created was lit by appropriate technology thus creating sufficient bandwidth at the Gram Panchayats.
Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators and Content providers to launch various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version – BharatNet was conceived as a nation-wide broadband network
BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.
The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India.