DRONES OF WOMEN SHGs (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Govt Schemes)

News-CRUX-10     30th November 2023        
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Context: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister of India has approved Central Sector Scheme for providing Drones to the Women Self Help Groups (SHGs), with an outlay of Rs. 1261 Crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26.

Drones to the Women Self Help Groups

  • Aim: To provide drones to 15,000 selected Women SHGs during the period 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose.
  • Vision: To empower women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and bringing new technologies through drone services in agriculture sector.
  • Significance: The scheme will help infusing advance technology in agriculture for improved efficiency, enhanced crop yield and reduced cost of operation for the benefit of farmers.

Self Help Groups

  • About: SHGs are self-governing groups of individuals with shared socioeconomic backgrounds who collaborate to address common challenges and improve their living conditions.

Highlights of this Scheme

  • Scheme Integration: The scheme integrates efforts of DA&FW, DoRD, DoF, Women SHGs, and LFCs for holistic interventions in agriculture.
  • Drone Utilization: Identified clusters will employ economically feasible drone usage, with 15,000 selected women SHGs receiving 80% financial assistance for drone purchase.
  • Financial Assistance and Loan: Women SHGs will receive 80% financial assistance for drone purchase, and CLFs may secure the balance amount as a loan with a 3% interest subvention.
  • Training for SHG Members: Qualified SHG members will undergo 15 days of training, including a 5-day drone pilot training and a 10-day agriculture-focused training for nutrient and pesticide application.
  • Drone Technicians: Members inclined towards electrical and mechanical works will be trained as drone technicians/assistants by SRLM and LFCs, forming an integral part of the program.
  • LFCs as Facilitators: LFCs will bridge the gap between drone suppliers and SHGs, facilitating the procurement, repair, and maintenance of drones.
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