Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said while Pakistani drones carry explosives to spread terror and threaten human lives, Indian drones have assumed the role of a COVID warrior and carry life-saving medicines and vaccines.
This is indeed the fundamental difference between the two countries, he added.
Mr Singh was speaking at the launch of the first drone-piloted aerial delivery facility to transport COVID-19 vaccines as well as emergency drugs to inaccessible and difficult areas in a short period of time, a statement said. press release from the Ministry of Health. Science and technology.
Referring to the first shipment of 50 vials of COVID-19 vaccine which were dropped by the drone near the international border (IB) in the Marh region, added Mr. Singh, the locally developed “Octacopter” drone in Bengaluru on the initiative of The Scientific and Industrial Research Council (CSIR) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is truly a messenger of peace, while Pakistan uses the drone to disrupt the peace, according to the press release.
The Indian drone brought the message to protect lives from COVID and ensure the health and well-being of all to the international border, according to the press release.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh added, India’s vaccination campaign has turned into a mass campaign and every citizen is trying to make an appropriate contribution, according to the statement.
âWe at the Ministry of Science and Technology have also decided to join Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign by developing a drone that would reach households in remote and difficult areas that lack transportation and therefore the drone would operate the function of knocking on the door of every house to ensure that not a single person goes without vaccination, âhe added.
Mr Singh said the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine vials via Octacopter would go a long way towards achieving the Prime Minister’s “Har Ghar Dastak” campaign for a special door-to-door vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
He said India has administered more than 120 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine so far, but there is a need to adopt unconventional methods to vaccinate 65% of the population living in rural and remote areas. of inaccessible hills.
The Minister informed that the Octacopter can carry a payload of 10 kg with a range of 20 km and fly at an operational altitude of 500 meters AGL at a maximum flight speed of 36 km / h.
Referring to the recent monthly radio program ‘Mann ki Baat‘, where Prime Minister Modi said: “One of the things that captivates people’s imaginations is the use of drones in India,” Singh informed that more live demonstrations will be conducted by CSIR in inaccessible and remote hilly areas like Kishtwar, Rajouri, Poonch and Bhadarwah.
He said, for example, that by road, drugs to reach PHC Sunat thawa from Bhaderwah health center take about 3 hours to cover 74 km, but by drone they can be delivered in 15 minutes, which will be a boon for rural populations. .
The Minister noted that the CSIR-NAL had established collaborations with the start-up M / s IoTech World, Gurgaon, Bliss Aerospace, Bengaluru and M / s Scientech, Indore to advance drone technology to the end user.
Mr Singh said that CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) has developed Octacopter drones to deliver medical supplies that will help better manage scarce supplies resources and facilitate just-in-time delivery to the system. current supply chain.
Smart inventory management can help alleviate the current burden as well as deal with crises of vaccine shortages and drug supply in remote areas, he added.
The minister said the Octacopter is DGCA-NPNT compliant, geographic fence and digital sky with 360-degree collision avoidance, making it one of the best drones in its class.
He added that the Octacopter can be used for a variety of BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) applications for last mile delivery of drugs, vaccines, food, postal packages, human organs, etc. .
The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation granted CSIR-NAL conditional clearance to conduct BVLOS flight tests on September 13.