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Wednesday / February 21. 2024
HomeAgroPolicyAgro UniversitiesIIT Mandi iHub showcases the success of ‘Drone Didi’ program to President of India Droupadi Murmu

IIT Mandi iHub showcases the success of ‘Drone Didi’ program to President of India Droupadi Murmu

‘Drone Didi’ is an Entrepreneurship Development Program tailored for women in Himachal Pradesh and beyond, with a specific focus on Agri Drone Applications.

IIT Mandi iHub, a cutting-edge Technology Innovation Hub specialising in Human-Computer Interaction, has garnered prestigious recognition from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India for its Drone Didi skill development program. On January 24, 2024, representatives from IIT Mandi iHub, including Somjit Amrit, CEO, IIT Mandi iHub, and Shashi Bala, a beneficiary of the Drone Didi program, presented the success of this initiative to the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, at the inauguration ceremony of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India’s ‘Kaushal Bhavan’ in New Delhi.

Highlighting Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture through Drone Automation, President of India, Droupadi Murmu, said, “Empowering women in the crucial realm of agriculture through the implementation of drone automation is a transformative initiative. It not only harnesses the power of technology but also fosters a more inclusive and equitable agricultural landscape. The integration of women into this pivotal sector ensures a diversified and skilled workforce, contributing significantly to the growth and sustainability of our agricultural practices.”

‘Drone Didi’ is an Entrepreneurship Development Program tailored for women in Himachal Pradesh and beyond, with a specific focus on Agri Drone Applications. The project serves not only as a skill development endeavour but also as a robust platform for women to establish businesses in the burgeoning field of drone technology.

As part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0, participants in the Drone Didi program receive comprehensive training and support, including:

  • Theoretical and Practical training on Drone flying leading to securing Remote Pilot Licenses
  • Training on Agricultural Drone Applications like crop pesticide spraying, monitoring field conditions, plant health, seeding, and pollination.
  • Providing capacity building support in entrepreneurship
  • Providing Mentorship support and enabling market/credit linkages

Speaking about the initiative, Somjit Amrit, CEO of IIT Mandi iHub, said, “At iHub, we believe in harnessing technology for societal benefits. ‘Drone Didi’ is more than just a skill development program; it is a catalyst for change, empowering women to become leaders in technology and entrepreneurship. This project is a testament to our commitment to inclusive growth and aligns with our vision of creating a skilled, self-reliant India. We aim to take this project to a national level soon.”

Executed with support from the Agriculture Skill Council of India, the first batch of the Drone Didi program is currently underway, with a total of 20 female students at the IIT Mandi campus in collaboration with the Institute’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR). In addition to technical support, CAIR is also providing On-The-Job (OTJ) opportunities to the Drone Didis.

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