Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - JAYAJIT DASH

Ger­many's ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel are close to de­cid­ing who will lead their planned Euro­pean steel joint ven­ture, four peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said on Fri­day. Set­tling on the ven­ture's lead­er­ship has been de­layed by a strat­egy cri­sis and change of CEO at the Ger­man in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate, which has said it would split into two com­pa­nies. The hold up has riled the ThyssenKrupp work­force. A labour leader on Wed­nes­day said there would be “trou­ble” if the mat­ter was not re­solved soon. An­dreas Goss, head of Thyssenkrupp's steel unit, is the front run­ner to be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of the com­bined en­tity, which will be Europe's sec­ond-largest steel­maker.

Sky­lark Drones, one of the fastest grow­ing drone so­lu­tions com­pa­nies, aims to put its tech­nol­ogy to use at Tata Steel’s flag­ship Noa­mundi iron ore mines by the next fi­nan­cial year.

The Ben­galuru-based startup is in talks with the steel mono­lith for a tie-up, and the en­gage­ment could mean of­fer­ing a stand­alone soft­ware so­lu­tion or de­ploy­ment of com­plete end-to-end so­lu­tions. Noa­mundi, one of the old­est op­er­at­ing mines in In­dia, is in Jhark­hand’s West Singb­hum dis­trict.

“We have co-cre­ated In­dia’s first mine mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem with Tata Steel, un­der the di­rec­tives of the In­dian Bu­reau of Mines. This en­com­passes three facets — com­pli­ance, mon­i­tor­ing and sur­veil­lance. As part of the en­gage­ment, we will have drone-based an­a­lyt­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties to aid in com­pli­ance re­port­ing, mon­i­tor­ing vol­u­met­ric pro­duc­tion and au­tomat­ing lease bound­ary man­age­ment,” said Gokul Ku­mar­avelu, lead mar­ket­ing at Sky­lark Drones.

Drone so­lu­tions are ex­pected to help Tata Steel run its mines more ef­fec­tively and grow pro­duc­tiv­ity, be­sides en­sur­ing higher reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance. With the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion un­veil­ing its drone pol­icy, and com­mer­cial­is­ing their us­age, Sky­lark Drones is eye­ing wider ap­pli­ca­tions. “We have been await­ing reg­u­la­tory in­ter­ven­tions. Now, we are aim­ing to get our drones com­pli­ant by Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary next year,” Ku­mar­avelu said.

The min­istry’s drone pol­icy has gone live, and on­line reg­is­tra­tion of drones has kicked off from De­cem­ber 1. Fly­ing drones or re­motely-pi­loted air­craft have be­come le­gal in In­dia from De­cem­ber 1, with the Na­tional Drones Pol­icy drafted by the avi­a­tion min­istry com­ing into ef­fect. The new pol­icy called “Drone Reg­u­la­tions 1.0” clar­i­fies where, when and how drones can op­er­ate within In­dia. The direc­torate gen­eral of civil avi­a­tion (DGCA) has de­signed five cat­e­gories of drones — nano, mi­cro, small, medium and large.

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