How will India’s new liberalised drone rules impact the industry? And where are they left wanting?
Skye Air Mobility co-founder Swapnik Jakkampuddi, Internet Freedom Foundation associate counsel for surveillance and transparency Anushka Jain, and Tech for Wildlife founder-director Shashank Srinivasan join host Akhil Arora to discuss just that.
We talk about how the Drone Rules 2021 do away with unnecessary and time-consuming security clearances, and are much easier to parse than the old ones — but it’s worth noting that these are still early days, and there’s a lot they leave out, including basic stuff such as the legality of DJI drones (the most popular in the world) or counter-drone measures (can you shoot down a drone if it flies over your property?).
Read: Drone Rules 2021 announced
Additionally, the new eased regulations have made misuse of drones much easier, be it on an individual peeping-tom level or via the police who are taking to new technology more and more. There are major questions over privacy, data security, and mass surveillance — none of which are addressed by Drone Rules 2021. And you may face many legal hurdles in taking someone to court over being surveilled by drones.
This vacuum isn't just harmful to fundamental rights of humans, but also other species. We delve into the need for more clarity over e-waste disposal, better enforcement for protected areas like national parks, and ensuring that drones do not further expand the divide between oppressed communities and the authorities. We also touch upon the medicine-from-the-sky trials currently being undertaken.
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Fewer restrictions (01:25)
What about privacy? (05:45)
Working with locals (09:59)
Tech > Enforcement (12:25)
Still early days (15:27)
Scope for misuse (20:05)
Wildlife conservation (27:32)
Legal hurdles (33:03)
Photo credit: Kushal Medhi