Explained: Telangana’s idea of supplying medicines to remote areas by drones

News:The Telangana government has adopted a framework to use drones for last-mile delivery of essential medical supplies.


About the framework:

  • Telangana Government and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network had announced the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project.
  • The project aims to develop source materials for policymakers and health systems to analyse the challenges that come with drone delivery, and to compare this model with other competing delivery models.
  • The project has been co-designed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Apollo Hospitals Group Healthnet Global Limited.
  • The project will help facilitate decision-making in healthcare supply chains,focus on last-mile deliveries and address issues that affect the medical distribution system.

Benefits of using drones:

  • The core advantage of their use is reduction of the time taken to transport material, and improving supply chain efficiency.
  • In Rwanda, drone-related pilot projects have been implemented on a national scale to deliver medical supplies without delay and at scheduled intervals.

Additional information:

What are drones?

  • A drone is an aircraft that operates without a pilot on board and is referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV). 
  • It has three subsets which are (a)Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), (b)Autonomous Aircraft and (c)Model Aircraft. 
  • RPAs are aircraft that are piloted from remote pilot stations.It can be further classified into five types on the basis of weight: nano, micro, small, medium and large.

Who regulates drones?

  • In India,the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation acts as the regulatory body for drones.
  • The DGCA’s drone policy requires all owners of RPAs except drones in the smallest ‘nano’ category to seek permission for flights and comply with regulations including registration and operating hours (only during the day and areas) and not above designated high security zones.

World Economic Forum(WEF)

  • WEF was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland.
  • The objective of WEF is to improve the state of the world by engaging business,political,academic and other leaders of society to shape global,regional and industry agendas.
  • Some of the most significant reports published by the WEF are (a)Global Competitiveness Report (b)Global Gender Gap Report (c)Global Risks Report and (d)Global Travel and Tourism Report among others.