Vikarabad: Union civil aviation minister Jyotiradtiya Scindia along with Telangana minister of IT and industries K.T Rama Rao launches project for delivering medicines and vaccines using drones on Saturday. It is a part of the state government's ambitious 'Medicine from the Sky' project.

The Telangana government's Medicine from the Sky (MFTS) project is in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, NitiAayog, and Healthnet Global along with the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA). The project has been granted the necessary exemptions and rights to fly drones on an experimental basis.

The project was launched on experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights for delivery of vaccines using the identified airspace of the Vikarabad district.

Recently, the ministry of civil aviation granted Telangana government exemption from the UAS Rules 2021 and granted permission for conducting BVLOS drone operations. The TS government said the intention behind granting the permissions was for "faster vaccine delivery and improved healthcare access".

The state has already engaged the district administration to plan the on-ground operations and has also identified nodal officers to support the same. In Vikarabad district, the state government will operate BVLOS flights with the Area Hospital as the take-off site and various PHCs and sub-centres as the landing sites.

Mr. Scindia said the new drone policy brought out by the NDA government at the Centre has eased rules regarding drone operations in the country by reducing the number of forms - from 25 to five - that need to be filled to operate them and decreasing the types of fee charged from the operators from 72 to four.

Under the green zone, no permission is needed to fly drones whereas permissions are needed in the yellow zones while red zones are no-fly areas.

Each drone will carry a combination of dummy vials and regular vaccines over the course of the trials and the performance would be recorded in detail. This data will be used to guide further policies regarding full-scale adoption.

Medicines from the Sky project will be taken up in 16 green zones. The data will be analyzed for three months. "We, along with the health ministry, IT ministry, state government, and the Centre will together analyze the data and make models for the whole country. Today is a revolutionary day not only for Telangana but for the whole country," the minister said.

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