Letter to BS: Reckless caution could affect nascent drone tech in India

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Drones with multiple potential benefits — ranging from enabling food- delivering companies to service people living in high-rise apartments in urban areas cost-effectively and delivering medicines to people living in remote hill areas to delivering seeds to reforest such areas — has now evoked concerns among security agencies across the globe. That drones have been used by terrorists and state security agencies alike to target their enemies — the latest being the drone attack by the US to kill Iranian military general Soleimani — is now leading many countries, including India, to tighten the regulatory oversight over this infant sector. While acknowledging and appreciating the move by the Indian government to usher in stringent requirements for drone manufacturers and operators through its new registration portal called Digital Sky Platform, we should not be oblivious to the significance of exercising caution to ensure that the so-called stringent regulatory oversight does not morph itself into an arbitrary one, thus stalling its growth. As a technology that has the potential to open up multiple markets, the government should desist from exercising reckless caution. M Jeyaram  Tamil Nadu

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