Aviation ministry shortlists 14 entities under PLI Scheme for drones and drone components

Ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) on Wednesday released the first provisional list of 14 beneficiaries under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for drone and drone components. These include five drone manufacturers and nine drone component manufacturers. 

The list of beneficiaries is likely to be expanded further since some more manufacturers are likely to exceed the eligibility criteria for the full financial year 2021-22. The final list of PLI beneficiaries is expected to be released by 30 June 2022 after detailed scrutiny of their financial results and other specified documents.
The provisional list of PLI beneficiaries has been prepared on the basis of the financial data submitted by applicants for the ten-month period – April 2021 till January 2022.  The shortlisted beneficiaries have met the eligibility criteria related to sales revenue and value addition in the ten month period itself.
The eligibility criteria for the PLI scheme for drones and drone components includes an annual sales turnover of Rs2 crore for drone companies and Rs50 lakh for drone component manufacturers, besides value addition of over 40 per cent of sales turnover.
The PLI scheme for drones and drone components was notified on 30 September 2021. The scheme provides for incentives worth a total Rs120 crore, spread over three financial years, which is nearly double the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21. The PLI rate is 20 per cent of the value addition, which is one of the highest among other PLI schemes. A unique feature of drone PLI scheme is that the manufacturers who fail to meet the value addition threshold in 2021-22 will be allowed to claim the lost incentive in the subsequent year if they make up the shortfall in 2022-23. 
Apart from the PLI Scheme, the government has carried out a series of reforms to make India a global drone hub by 2030. This includes notification of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021; publishing of Drone Airspace Map 2021 which opens nearly 90 per cent of Indian airspace as a green zone up to 400 feet, UAS Traffic Management (UTM) policy framework 2021; Drone Certification Scheme 2022 which makes it easier for drone manufacturers to obtain a type certificate; Drone Import Policy, 2022 which bans import of foreign-made drones; and the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which abolishes the requirement of a drone pilot licence for drone operations.
Shortlisted drone manufacturers include:
  • Dhaksha Unmanned Systems, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Ideaforge Technology, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Io TechWorld Avigation, Gurugram, Haryana
  • Omnipresent Robot Technologies, Gurguram, Haryana
  • Raphe Mphibr, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Shortlisted drone component manufacturers include:
  • Absolute Composites, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Adroitec Information Systems, New Delhi
  • Alpha Design Technologies, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Inventgrid India, Sambalpur. Odisha
  • Paras Aerospace, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • SASMOS HET Technologies, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • ZMotion Autonomous Systems, Bangalore, Karnataka