The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has proposed draft drone guidelines that have fascinated the startups and investors to invest in the drone industry.

These policies were formulated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a gathering of ministers. In the discussion, the ministry has formulated a policy for the traffic management of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones.

The Center on Thursday reported another drone strategy. Under the Drone Rules 2021, the inclusion of drones in commercial and military use expanded from 300 kg to 500 kg and will incorporate substantial payload-carrying drones and drone taxis.
Moreover, the new drone rules eliminate formalities before any enrollment or permit issuance.

India’s Drone Market On the Rise

India is supposed to be the fastest developing drone market globally. It is anticipated to mushroom to $885 million by 2021, as per the January 2020 PwC report, and is expected to touch $1,810 million by FY 2026. Indian drone market CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is 14.61.

The global drone market is estimated to grow $43 billion in 2024 from $14 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 20.5 per cent.
According to The Print, India is assessed to foster a multibillion-dollar industry of automated aerial vehicles (UAV) in the upcoming decade.

BIS Research proposed many features for developing the Indian drone industry, including the draft Drone Rules 2021, delivered last month by the civil aviation ministry.

Due to the rules and regulations modifications, a rising number of drone training institutions has seemed.

There is an estimation that the certified pilots will be more than 5000 by the year 2025. This assumption can be taken into consideration due to the easing of drone regulation by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).

In the year 2022, we will see the U-shaped curve in the drone industry. New drone policies have dropped many formalities due to which the country will witness widespread usage of drones and a boom in the drone industry.

Third Largest Importer In the World

India is the third-largest importer of (military) UAVs, with a 6.8 percent portion of the global UAV deliveries reported in the year ending 2020, as indicated by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRIs) Arms Transfers information base.

According to the experts and sources, drones that India imports are mostly imported for military or defense purposes. The size of the military drones is large; they are far different from the one we see in the event.

In the SIPRI’s (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) record, UAVs come under aircraft systems.
The United Kingdom is the largest importer of drones, with 195 drones in the year ending 2020, followed by France (187), India (178), Egypt (144), and Italy (141).

According to SIRPI, these countries combined hold 32 percent of imported drones globally. India’s neighboring countries like Pakistan imported 128 UAVs.

On the other hand, Israel is the largest exporter of UAVs worldwide with 810 by the year 2020, followed by the United States (625), Canada (450), China (240), and Austria (112).

Made In India

India has also developed its UAVs through public sector units and private companies.
These listed include Rustom, Nishant, Panchi, and Netra, while micro and mini UAVs are registered as Black Kite, Golden Hawk, Pushpak, Imperial Eagle, and Sly Bird.

More than 150 drone start-ups are mushrooming in India, indicating the wide scope of evolution of the drone and UAV ecosystem going forward.

On January 1, idea Forge received one of the biggest small drone contracts valued at around $20 million, about SWITCH 1.0 UAVs. The company also has the privilege of inducting into the Indian Armed Forces.

These UAVs can be used for prolonged duration operations, extended-endurance surveillance as well as security inspection.

As drones made in India are integrated into defense and other public services, the Indian UAV industry anticipates the future.

Given the security perception and their myriad commercial and social uses, that appears to be the way ahead.

Weaponized Drones and Counter-drone Market In India

Recently, India has reported the first terror attack ever with an explosive-laden drone pointed at a military airbase in Jammu city, located in Indian government-run Kashmir. The government reported that two soldiers had been lightly injured in the blasts that occurred in the military airways with high security and the blast just 14km away from the border with Pakistan.

Experts from the military demanded New Delhi ramp up security since they were the first drones used in an attack. Been detected during the context of an incident in India. A variety of sources have attributed the attack on militant groups in Indian in occupied Kashmir who would like for the Himalayan regions to be integrated with Pakistan or to be an independent state since it is an area that is Muslim majority region.

India has claimed that Pakistan facilitates attacks using militias, citing their ineffective policy, which Islamabad does not deny. The utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), autonomous weapons systems, and robot soldiers in the hands of states in war and policing have been a source of moral and practical concerns that remain unanswered.

The month of February was 2021. a senior official of the Border Security Force (BSF) confirmed that in 2019 there were 167 documented sightings of drones on the Western Front and 77 sightings in 2020.
“There have been instances of dipping off weapons and ammo as well as narcotics through drones, predominantly in Punjab and the Jammu sector,” says an official from the Border Security Force (BSF), India.
As of now, India is the third-largest importer of (military quality) drones due to a 6.8 percent share of all UAV delivery or transfers worldwide in 2020, as per the Stockholm Institute for Peace and Research’s (SIPRIs) weapon Transfers database.

In the wake of the incident, it’s planning to expand the market for drones and counter-drone further.
“India too is setting up to import drones that have not only Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) features but moreover drones that can bring out meticulousness strikes on adversary targets with stand-off missiles,” was the focus of the research report of Noida-based drone manufacturer Johnnette Technologies.
The market for counter-drone and drones in India is expected to be around $40 billion, including Defense and Homeland Security bookkeeping for 50% of it, according to FICCI.


As demand for drones in India is increasing day by day in various fields, UAVs has become the primary key to the country’s development. FICCCI also mentioned that the Indian drone market has the potential to reach $40 billion by 2030. Indian market is one of the fastest-growing markets for drones and we believe, the use of drones will definitely become more refined and defined and it will create more career opportunities in the upcoming decade.