IIT Guwahati on Tuesday sought to be a hub for research and use of drones for delivery of medicines and other emergency items in the remote parts of the country’s northeast by opening four centres of drone technology.
This included a droneport, Centre for Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology, which is said to be the country’s first such centre, a skill development centre for the northeast and a Nodal Center for administrative Drone Data Management for the Northeast.
Union minister of state for civil aviation Gen (retd) VK Singh inaugurated the centres, set up jointly by the IIT Guwahati and FICCI.
“The Centre for Excellence in Research on Drone/UAV Technology has been established with the vision to design and develop the most advanced indigenous drones for solving the northeast region’s most persistent problems and contributing to the nation’s technological achievements. Along with the Technology Incubation Hub where research on underwater drones is also being carried out, this centre will utilize the diverse expertise available across the institute to provide thrust in the development of drones/UAVs, software platforms, data collation and analysis as well as creating broad application base,” the IITG said in a statement.
The Centre will also assist innovators and start-ups in their research and development activities. Similarly, the testing and due certification of drones will also be one of the organisation’s focuses. Already two drone-based start-ups are setting up their labs at IIT Guwahati Research Park, it said.
Director of IIT-G, TG Sitharam said the places in the remote and difficult terrains of the northeast can be brought within reach during any emergency by using the drone-assisted technology.
“The IIT Guwahati will share its research expertise, impart skill development, set-up a droneport and provide all administrative support and fulfil the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to realize the potential of India to be global drone hub by 2030,” he said.
The skill development centre for the northeast will work with the state governments, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and relevant industrial partners for capacity building and advanced training. It will provide professional UAV training to government and private organizations, including users such as farmers, security personnel, disaster relief and management, high power fault detection and remote.
Dipankar Barua, Chairman of FICCI Assam State Council said drone technology could push development in areas such as border security, agriculture, health, tourism, mining and infrastructure.