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

IIT Mandi iHub garnered prestigious recognition from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India for its Drone Didi skill development program.

IIT Mandi iHub is a cutting-edge Technology Innovation Hub specializing in Human-Computer Interaction, has garnered prestigious recognition from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India for its Drone Didi skill development program.

IIT Mandi iHubRepresentatives

On January 24, 2024, representatives from IIT Mandi iHub presented the success of this initiative to the President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, at the inauguration ceremony of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India’s ‘Kaushal Bhavan’ in New Delhi.

The representatives of IIT Mandi iHub included Mr. Somjit Amrit, CEO, IIT Mandi iHub, and Ms. Shashi Bala, a beneficiary of the Drone Didi program.


The ceremony was graced by the presence of the Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan, and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, say sources from IIT Mandi iHub.


Highlighting Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture through Drone Automation, Hon’ble President of India, Smt. 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, said president of India.

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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, she said.

IIT Mandi iHubDrone Didi

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

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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:

Ø Theoretical and Practical training on Drone flying leading to securing Remote Pilot Licenses

Ø Training on Agricultural Drone Applications like crop pesticide spraying, monitoring field conditions, plant health, seeding, and pollination

Ø Providing capacity building support in entrepreneurship

Ø Providing Mentorship support and enabling market/credit linkages


Speaking about the initiative, Mr. 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, said Mr Somjit.

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, said Mr Somjit of IIT Mandi iHub.


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), say sources from IIT Mandi iHub.

In addition to technical support, CAIR is also providing On-The-Job (OTJ) opportunities to the Drone Didis, say sources from IIT Mandi iHub.

IIT Mandi iHubBeneficiary

Sharing her experience, Ms. Shashi Bala, a beneficiary of IIT Mandi iHub’s Drone Didi program, said, “I have a background in BSc (Agriculture) and have been seeking a different and exciting career path in Agriculture.

That is when I learned about the Drone Didi program offered by IIT Mandi iHub.

After understanding the benefits of this girls-only residential program, I decided to join, said Shashi Bala, beneficiary of Drone Didi program of IIT Mandi iHub program.

I am pleased with what I have learned so far in this program, such as drone applications, maintenance, DGCA guidelines, Agri-drone applications, business skills, and soft skills, she said.

I also have a Mentor who is a sounding board for me and gives me full support in pursuing my aspirations, said the beneficiary of Drone Didi program of IIT Mandi iHub.


IIT Mandi iHub’s Drone Didi program stands as a beacon of empowerment, merging technology with entrepreneurship to uplift women in the field of drone technology.

The program’s success, recognized by the National Skill Development Corporation, reflects IIT Mandi iHub’s commitment to fostering inclusive growth and contributing to the vision of a skilled, self-reliant India.

With plans to elevate the project to a national level, IIT Mandi iHub continues to champion societal benefits through technological innovation and translation.

About IIT Mandi iHub

IIT Mandi iHub is a Skill Training Partner of NSDC under the Special Project for Institutions of National Importance.

This innovative Technology Innovation Hub specializing in Human-Computer Interaction trains youth in domains such as IoT, AI, Solar Technology, and Drone Technology under this funded project.

Through these initiatives, iHub has trained over 200 youths in the Solar Technology skill development program, providing them with On-The-Job opportunities at the IIT Mandi campus.

Similarly, in addition to the Drone Didi program, IIT Mandi iHub has completed two sessions of Drone training programs with over 40 graduates in total.


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