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The government needs to expand the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and develop an ecosystem to realise the goal of making India a global drone hub, a report said on Tuesday.

An incentive of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years was provided for Indian manufacturers of drone and drone components under the PLI Scheme notified on September 30, 2021.

As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation projections, the Indian drone manufacturing industry is expected to reach Rs 900 crore by 2025 from just Rs 60 crore in 2020-21, according to a study conducted by Nexgen Exhibitions.

It also noted that the Indian drone market is expected to grow at 22.15 per cent CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) during the 2024-30 period.

With innovation and expansion of its application portfolio, India has the potential of becoming the global drone hub by 2030, it stated.

The study highlighted that the key to realising India’s vision lies in boosting the domestic drone ecosystem. Other major factors are the expansion of the PLI scheme, government procurement, and pushing the Make in India initiative, it stated.

The application of drones is already proven in the fields of Border Surveillance, Rescue Disaster Management, and COVID management etc.

The drone services industry’s operations in logistics, data processing, and traffic management etc are far bigger in scale and will outshine the other related sectors very soon, the report highlighted.

Around 250 drones and unmanned systems manufacturers, anti-drone radar, guns and jammers innovators, component, wires, motors, sensors, CCTV suppliers, software developers for drones and unmanned systems, drones as service providing companies, GPS and Geospatial solutions providers participated in the survey.Institutes developing drones, defence research labs manufacturing drones, and aerospace companies like flight control, and simulator developers were also part of the survey.

The survey was conducted across 10 states – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The survey also reached out to foreign companies from the Middle East, Europe, the UK, the US and Australia.

International Drone Expo 2024 is a premium expo for drones unmanned systems (land and water), counter drones, LiDAR geospatial, artificial intelligence and air taxi. It is one of Asia’s biggest drone sector platforms for buyers, industry representatives and stakeholders from across the board to connect.

The focus this year would be on UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), drones and anti-drone systems for various applications.

“The industry is definitely getting a huge boost because of the Make in India movement and the visionary PLI Scheme of the government. Innovations and technological advancements done by Indian Drone Companies have caught the attention of the global markets and growth in the Indian drone industry is attracting significant foreign investment,” Aadhar Bansal, Director of Nexgen Exhibitions, said in the statement.

The Indian government’s increased efforts through the implementation of liberal policies and other initiatives, including Drone Shakti, a production-linked incentive scheme, increased air space, and others, are all collectively supporting the market’s growth, the statement said.