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Current Affairs

New drone import rules

Date: 12 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The central government has banned drone imports in India with some exceptions. The import of components is unaffected.



The government is seeking to boost drone manufacturing in the country. The ban will encourage people to buy drones made in India.



  • The ban extends to drones in form of completely built up (CBU), completely knocked down (CKD) /semi knocked down (SKD).

  • The exceptions have been provided to those that are imported for the purposes of defence, security and research and development. Clearances have to be taken beforehand.


Drone market in India

Drone manufacturing in India is expected to account for about 4.25 per cent of the global drone market worth about $28.5 billion in FY22.


Import permission

  • Government entities, educational institutions and government recognised R&D entities can import drones after getting prior clearances.

  • They will need to get authorisation from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade which would be given after consultation with the relevant ministry. 


Other measures to boost drone production

The government has eased rules around registration and operation of drones in India. It has also initiated a PLI scheme to boost the manufacturing of drones in the country. 



  • The PLI scheme for drones is expected to generate investment of over Rs 5,000 crore and 10,000 direct jobs in India’s drone manufacturing sector till FY24.

  • The turnover of the domestic drone manufacturing industry is expected to climb to Rs 900 crore in FY24 up from an estimated Rs 60 crore in FY21.


Drone Rules, 2021

  • The rules have reduced both compliances and fees required to operate drones.  The government has made clear its stance on usage.

  • A digital sky platform has been launched to demarcate areas where drone can be flown without permission and those areas which require permission.