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Friendly Regulation Policies Can Boost Up Drone Manufacturing in India, Says DFI

It is a tool that is going to impact lot of industries as a whole

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Drone
Unlike other countries, India has a very stringent drone policy. Pixabay

Indian drone manufacturers have all the ingredients to be at par with the world in developing top-of-the-line unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) but unfortunately, lack of friendly regulations have kept the industry away from a perfect take-off to date, Rahat Kulshreshtha, President of the Drone Federation of India (DFI), a non-profit industry body, said here on Monday.

Unlike other countries, India has a very stringent drone policy. “We have seen in a bit of derailment with the timeline because regulations are not yet ready for the drone industry, which, frankly, is a complicated thing to work on,” Kulshreshtha told IANS on the sidelines of the ‘Drone Festival of India 2020’ here.

“Regulations have slowed down the industry as investors have been wary of infusing funds into the startups to date.

“We are running slightly slow on the timeline at the momentum but today, we have got good commitment from Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri that the government is working on the regulations and would solve it together with the relevant stakeholders,” Kulshreshtha noted.

IANS reported last week that India will soon conduct ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight’ (BVLOS) test flights of drone systems for the creation of last-mile air delivery connectivity in the country.

On Monday, Puri confirmed this, saying that the experiments to study the operations of commercial drones which operate beyond the BVLOS range would be carried out in January. Unlike the reported figure of 40, India currently has nearly 100 drone startups and the autonomous drone aviation industry has great potential ahead, said Kulshreshtha.

“Once the regulations open up, the skies open up. We are working on the policy front with the regulators and are a bridge between the drone industry and the regulators, aiming to build a safer and scalable autonomous drone aviation industry in India,” the DFI president elaborated.

Drone
Indian drone manufacturers have all the ingredients to be at par with the world in developing top-of-the-line unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) but unfortunately, lack of friendly regulations have kept the industry away from a perfect take-off to date. Pixabay

The civil aviation ministry made public the draft note for Drone policy 2.0 last year, focusing on BVLOS operations. The draft Drone Policy 2.0 mandates a ‘privacy by design’ standard. According to Kulshreshtha, there are nearly 300 drone use cases in India and since it is a new technology, only the time would tell which use case would pick up pace faster.

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“The standard assumption is that we are an agrarian economy so agriculture might pick up well. But we are talking about a technology that is going to impact every single industry — logistics, roads, railways, GIS (geographic information system), mapping, entertainment, sports and so on,” Kulshreshtha told IANS.

“It is a tool that is going to impact lot of industries as a whole,” he added. (IANS)

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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Smartphone
The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

Smartphone
India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

Smartphone
Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

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“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)