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Minister of Civil Aviation Joytiraditya Scindia along with Telangana Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday launched Telangana’s Medicine from the Sky programme. The project was launched in Telangana's Vikarabad. The development will help deliver medicines to remote areas using drones.
The program is an initiative of the Telangana government and is led by the Emerging Technologies Wing of the Telangana's IT Department, in collaboration with World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, and HealthNet Global (Apollo Hospitals).
The first of its kind project under which vaccines and medicines will be delivered using drones, will be conducted on a pilot basis in 16 green zones of Telangana, and after a few months, based on the data of the trial it will be scaled up to national level.
The project will mark the Ministry of Civil Aviation's (MoCA) maiden drone programme since the ministry recently liberalised its drone policy. The first drone delivered a box carrying vaccine jabs weighing 5 kgs to a near community health centre located 3 km away from the launch site in just 10 minutes.
HMCA, Sh @JM_Scindia along with Sh @KTRTRS, Minister of Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Telangana launched the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ initiative in partnership with @wef, @NITIAayog , & HealthNet Global. Senior officials from MoCA & Telangana govt were also present pic.twitter.com/OQLAUKmddm— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) September 11, 2021
As the first-organised drone delivery programme in Asia, its control has been given to eight consortiums. The eight consortiums selected for the purpose are Airserve Consortium (Airserve Initiatives); Bluedart Med Express Consortium (Skye Air); CurisFly Consortium (TechEagle Innovations); Dunzo Med Air Consortium (Skye Air); Flipkart Air Consortium (DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations); Hepicopter Consortium (Marut Drones); Medisky Consortium (Sagar Defence Engineering); Redwing Consortium (Redwing Labs) where each consortium in addition to having a drone operator, also has a UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) partner, and a healthcare/cold-chain partner.
The Minister of Civil Aviation, Scindia said, "The Ministry's new drone policy has eased rules regarding the use of drones, therein forming the principles of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring. Drones are a frontier technology that can be used to access otherwise inaccessible areas, and thus allow equitable access to basic services like healthcare for even the farthest and remotest of areas. India is all set to become the drone hub of the world by 2030, and the potential of our innovators is only infinite."
Kicking off the drone revolution with an ambitious & important project with Telangana IT Minister @KTRTRS Ji. ‘Medicine From the Sky’ is a first of its kind project aimed at transporting vaccines & essentials to remote areas using drones.— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) September 11, 2021
Watch live https://t.co/4nq8J0D4tl pic.twitter.com/bqJX5O1nfv
Telangana Minister of Information Technology and Communication (IT&C), K T Rama Rao said that the state has always been at the forefront of promoting emerging technologies. "COVID pandemic has highlighted that the healthcare supplies can be considerably strengthened, and drones offer a great help especially when it comes to isolated areas and emergencies. The Medicine from the Sky is the first of its kind initiative in the country to generate insights that shall benefit the entire ecosystem. The enthusiasm and support by all the partners are deeply appreciated.”
Founder of Marut Drones, Prem Kumar lauded the presence of the Ministers in making the initiative a reality. "This campaign will surely spearhead the drone revolution in India," Kumar said.
The project was officially launched in the presence of the Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Telangana Minister of IT&C KT Rama Rao and Minister for Education Patolla Sabitha Indra Reddy. The inaugural event was also marked by Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group Dr. Sangita Reddy, and Shri Vignesh Santhanam who is the India Lead for Drones & Aerospace, World Economic Forum, from the project’s partner organisations.