Vibrant Gujarat Summit: Teen signs Rs5-cr MoU to supply drones

Harshwardhan ZalaA 14-year old boy created a buzz at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit yesterday after he signed a Rs5-crore-worth memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government for production of a drone designed by him.

Harshwardhan Zala, signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology, government of Gujarat, to facilitate production of the drones that would help detect and defuse land mines on war fields.

Zala said he started working on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone in 2016 and also created a business plan. "The inspiration struck when I was watching television and learned that a large number of soldiers succumb to injuries sustained due to landmine blasts while defusing them manually," said Zala, who spent over Rs5 lakh on the three prototypes of the drone, Times of India reported. While around Rs2 lakh came from his parents for the first two prototypes, he was granted Rs3 lakh from the state for the third prototype.

Wired to locate and destroy landmines, ''the drone is equipped with infrared, RGB sensor and thermal meter along with a 21-megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter that can take high resolution pictures as well," explained the class 10 student. The drone is designed to send out waves that cover eight sq mt area while flying two feet above the surface; the waves detect land mines and communicate their location with a base station. "The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine," explained Zala, who was looking at manufacturing the drone and getting it tested by security agencies.

Meanwhile, Gujaratis were firmly backing prime minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive to root out corruption and black money from the system, chief minister Vijay Rupani said yesterday.

In an interview with the Economic Times, at the eighth Vibrant Gujarat Summit, he said the state was known for high economic activity. ''Gujaratis are very adaptive and adjusting. Also, many traders and businessmen have close ties with the developed world. Adjusting to cashless transactions is not a big issue for them,'' he said. Rupani claimed that Gujarat had only benefitted from the note recall drive. ''Everyone wants corruption and black money to be eliminated from our economy.''