More than 11 lakh Indians returned under Vande Bharat Mission: Centre


Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday stated that till August 31, more than 11 lakh Indians (excluding land border crossings) have returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission. Citing the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Singh made the announcement in Lok Sabha.

Vande Bharat Mission consists of special repatriation flights operated by Indian carriers and chartered flights operated by both Indian and foreign carriers.

Lifeline UDAN

Launched on March 26 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, ‘Lifeline UDAN’ was an initiative to ensure a steady supply of essentials as well as medical supplies, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), test kits etc. to all parts of the country. For this purpose, the Ministry facilitated establishing Lifeline UDAN mechanism to match the requirements/consignments of States /UTs/MoHFW (HLL & ICMR)/other Ministries with special flight plans.

Initially, the consignor State Govts./UTs/agencies were to incur the transportation cost for Lifeline UDAN flights. However, a contingency expenditure plan for excess expenditure up to a total amount of Rs.30 crore was approved for payments of Lifeline UDAN operations to be made by MoCA. As of 18.09.2020, a number of Rs 18.95 crore has been reimbursed by MoCA to airlines/ground handling agencies for Lifeline UDAN flights. 

Remotely Piloted Aircraft System

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, up to August 31, has granted a conditional exemption to the following state government agencies for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System:

i. Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd.

ii. Commissionerate of Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan

iii. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Research, Government of Uttar Pradesh

iv. Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Government of Haryana

v. Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS), Faridabad

vi. Government Aviation Training Institute, Bhubaneswar

vii. Telangana State Aviation Academy, Hyderabad

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