You're reading it here first: The Central government wants to deploy drones — unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — to deliver COVID19 vaccines to underserved regions in the country. A group of government institutions, on being nudged by the country's Principal Scientific Advisor's (PSA) office, has come up with a proposal for a pilot project wherein drones will be used to make deliveries to public health centres and camps on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The pilot project's success could see its expansion to hilly and forested regions in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Assam, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Laboratories operated by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) across the country will be used launch pads for the drones, notes the proposal document available on the PSA's website. The organisations responsible for the pilot are CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CISO), CSIR- National Aerospace Laboratory (CSIR-NAL), CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), CSIR-4PI and IIIT Bengaluru. According to director of CSIR-CSIO, SA Ramakrishna, the call for the proposal came from the PSA's office around February. "The proposal was given in response to the call from PSA's office two months ago. Although we have had some discussions and some industry is interested in it commercially, we are looking into how to fund the demonstration," Ramakrishna told MediaNama. The proposal document claims that drones are the solution to ensuring COVID19 vaccine deliveries in rural areas with poor connectivity, cities with high traffic congestion and in mountainous regions where even short distances take…
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