While floating the idea of investing in the drone sector to global investors in the pitching session for Indian startups at Elevate Expo Finale in Dubai, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that the main focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the drone sector.
He added that the prime minister has spent a lot of time in the drone policy-making space.
“One of the new areas that PM Modi is focusing on is the drone sector. He spent a lot of time in the drone policy-making space. For the last 2 years he spent time focusing on that area as he understands the role that drones can play in India,” Thakur said.
During the pitching session for Indian start-ups, the minister stressed that Modi believes in breaking the taboos of the past and taking out-of-the-box and bold decisions be it unlocking of the space sector for private players, or the drone policy.
Thakur also said that the focus will be to strengthen the innovative start-up ecosystem.
“Many startups in India have become unicorns. This speaks volumes for the ecosystem for startups in India. Most of you are aggregators. From the suppliers to the other end, you try to play a role, but we must broaden our horizon to see what the other areas where we can do well are,” said the minister.
The Indian government is also discussing airspace management, the regulatory framework for the use of drones, their utility as future delivery systems, and air passages in which drones can be allowed to operate regarding security issues.
Drones can be used for search and rescue, disaster response, asset protection, wildlife monitoring, firefighting, communications relay, healthcare and agriculture.
The civil aviation ministry on March 11 had invited applications from the drone industry for the production-linked incentive scheme. The PLI scheme was notified on September, 30 2021. "The total incentive is Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years, which is nearly double the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21," the ministry had said.
On the third day of his visit in Dubai, Thakur also said Indian people in Dubai are the real brand ambassadors of the country and that the India Pavilion saw around 17 lakh visitors.
"People have gathered in huge numbers to witness India Pavilion at Dubai Expo. People are excited to watch Indian exhibitions including yoga, ayurveda, tourism, textile, cosmic world, and cinema world. Around 17 lakh people have visited India Pavilion," Thakur had told ANI.
Thakur also met Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh on ‘The Global Reach of Indian Media and Entertainment Industry’ at the India Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.
He said that his aim is to make India a hub of content creation which can generate "millions of jobs" in the country and also cater to global demand.
During a conversation with Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh, Thakur acknowledged the contribution of films in India's soft power projection and said the Indian film industry has left "a great impact" on the people of other countries.
"India is a land of storytelling...India should be the hub. And, I personally feel, my aim in the next few years is that India should be the content sub-continent of the world," he said.
He also recalled Modi’s statement which said that Indian youths are not job seekers but an employer, adding, “I am aware of the failure and success rates of startups. I’m reminded of what PM Modi says — Today’s youth is not a job seeker but an employer.”
He urged Indian start-ups to do something that can bring change and can help in Ease of Doing Business.
“Please start something that can bring change and can help in Ease of Doing Business or to resolve the challenge like stubble burning. I met a company that came up with a new product to help farmers. I met a young entrepreneur who came up with nano fertilizer using nanotechnology, which the government will be using now. Can we do something to help the community and bring a long-awaited change?” said the minister.
Earlier, on Sunday, the union minister also launched an international project -- Training for Emirates Jobs And Skills (TEJAS) -- aimed at creating pathways to enable the Indian workforce to get equipped for skill and market requirements in the UAE.
Thakur, on the second day of his visit to Dubai, addressed the audience at the launch, saying India has a youthful population and the youth are the largest stakeholders in both nation building and image building.
"Our focus is to skill this population and provide the world with a large skilled workforce from India," he said, while reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a strong partnership between India and the UAE.
The six-month-long Dubai Expo that commenced in October last year witnessed the participation of as many as 192 countries. Fifteen states and nine central ministries from India are participating in this expo, which will be ending on March 31, 2022.(With inputs from agencies)