National Digital Communications Policy 2018 and National Drones Policy - Drone Regulations 1.0 (Download PDF)

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National Digital Communication Policy

National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) . Recently Approved by the Union Cabinet. Formulation of a new Telecom Policy. Previously existing National Telecom Policy-2012. To cater to the modern needs of the digital communications sector of India.

  • To facilitate India՚s effective participation in the global digital economy.
  • To ensure digital sovereignty.
  • The objectives have to be achieved by 2022.

Key Features

  • To provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen.
  • Target- Providing 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.
  • To ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas.
  • In the Digital Communications Sector to attract investments of $ 100 billion.
  • Training one million manpower for building New Age Skill.
  • Expanding the Internet of Things ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices.
  • New Policy- Telecom Commission is to be re-designated the Digital Communications Commission.

Concerns in the Sector

  • Investment
  • Levies
  • Spectrum Prices
  • Finances
  • Facilities

National Drones Policy - Drone Regulations 1.0

  • Drafted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • Effective from December 1,2018.
  • New Policy Clarifies- Where, when and how drones can operate within India.
  • Flying drones or remotely-piloted aircraft have become legal in India.
  • The online registration of drones in India has been started by the Ministry of Civil Aviation through its Digital Sky portal.


  • India has no indigenous drone manufacturer capable of competing on the global stage.
  • Without attracting hostile govt. attention, a few businesses have managed to manufacture or operate drones in India.
  • No regulations to guarantee the legality of the products and services.
  • Products and services primarily for the cinematography, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors.

Policy Highlights

  • Categories
  • Nano drones (Weighing less than 250 grams or equal) doesn՚t need to be registered
  • Digital Sky portal registration for the remaining categories of drones
  • Permission
  • Zones

Drone Policy 2.0

  • Constitution of a task force on the recommendation of Drone Policy 2.0.
  • RPAS or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.
  • Regulatory architecture for autonomous flying.
  • Delivery via drones.
  • Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights.


  • Current regulations- legal for non-governmental agencies, organisations and individuals to use UAVs.
  • High costs- Put them beyond the reach of NGOs and rural communities.
  • Some activities for example functional drone-based delivery is not allowed.
  • A focus for research and development.

Way Ahead

  • Drone applications-In relevance to India՚s large rural population.
  • For eg. Farming communities could cooperatively use drones to map vegetation stress, prevent crop-raiding by wild animals etc.
  • For the implementation of regulations without delay, the necessary infrastructure must be put in place.
  • More involvement is needed from representatives outside the drone industry including civil society organisations and advocacy groups.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 9, 2020

Policy/Governance, Education

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