Indian firm, DroneAcharya partners Tata STRIVE to conduct drone pilot certification - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 11 October 2023

Indian firm, DroneAcharya partners Tata STRIVE to conduct drone pilot certification

The MQ-9 Reaper, the world's deadliest armed drone has been used for two decades by the CIA to strike and kill militants in Afghanistan and Iraq

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 11 Oct 23


The attacks on multiple Israeli civilian and military targets by Gaza-based Islamist militant group, Hamas, are only most recent illustration of the capabilities that militarised drones – the short name for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – provide, even in a low-or-medium technology environment.


Drones entered the public imagination and lexicon as military instruments. In 1999, India’s military acquired its first drones from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). These were Searcher-1 and Searcher-2 drones that flew reconnaissance missions over Pakistan, gathering military photographic intelligence that proved invaluable in the Kargil War that year. When the US military entered Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist strikes, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flew precision strikes on terrorist targets with Predator drones.


However, meteoric growth in the capabilities of drones soon transformed industries such as agriculture, construction, logistics and healthcare. Soon, drones were no longer just remote-controlled toys; they quickly became essential tools for data collection, monitoring, and automation in multiple applications. 


In line with these developments, private drone manufacturer, DroneAcharya, entered a strategic partnership on Tuesday with Tata STRIVE for training drone pilots in India.


“This collaboration aims to provide specialized training in the rapidly growing drone industry, empowering candidates with the skills and knowledge they need to secure better livelihoods and chart a promising career path,” the two companies announced in a statement on Tuesday. 


This growth is expected to continue, creating numerous jobs. However, access to training and education in drone technology often remains limited to the military or to those with financial means. 


“This partnership between DroneAcharya and Tata STRIVE aims to address this disparity by providing training to underprivileged individuals, ensuring that they have a fair shot at joining the drone workforce”, says Prateek Srivastava, who heads DroneAcharya.


DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations Limited is India’s first listed drone company and the highest rated remote pilot training organisation (RPTO) in India. It has a team of experienced trainers and a comprehensive curriculum and a track record of producing skilled drone professionals.


Tata STRIVE, a division of the Tata Community Initiatives Trust, promotes skill development and employability among India's youth. 


The key outcome of the DroneAcharya-Tata STRIVE partnership will be a training program that includes drone pilot training certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and job assistance. 


“Candidates will receive hands-on training in drone piloting, maintenance, data analysis, and regulatory compliance. Moreover, they will gain insights into the various applications of drones in industries like agriculture, surveying, disaster management, and more”, says Amit Takte, Chief Technology Officer at DroneAcharya.


The first batch will consist of a group of 20 individuals from diverse backgrounds. This will subsequently be scaled up, owing to a new mandate that enables individuals with any ID and address proof document issued by the Indian Government to enrol for this course. 


Candidates with drone-related skills can secure employment that increases their earning potential, while also contributing to the growth of the drone industry.

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