Click here to watch Indian Surveillance Drone Chase Scene.
The movie Interstellar (2014), starts with a scene where main characters run after an unmanned flying vehicle. After catching, it revealed as Indian Surveillance Drone. Here is idea behind this explained :
A few things to consider:
1) There’s a line in the movie about 6 billion people all wanting the same standard of living, presumably as in developed countries. Meaning people in India and China have stepped it up and are now producing more world class professionals (read: engineers) than anywhere else.
2) Cooper, along with his son, are told even though they are smart they can’t be engineers anymore cause the world has too many engineers and not enough farmers. Only the genuises from the U.S., which is determined at a really young age (15), are allowed to go to university. Notice how later on Cooper’s daughter Murph is seen working at Nasa as an enginneer, it’s presumed she’s a genius.
3) An Indian drone on American soil. Think about how crazy that would be today if an Indian drone was in the U.S.? It would mean the U.S. has essentially become as backwards as Afghanistan or Iraq is today (because the U.S. has tons of drones buzzing around those parts of the world). So an Indian drone in America is meant to symbolize America’s decay as a superpower as it doesn’t even have the resources to shoot it down.
Aside from establishing that Cooper is not just an ordinary farmer when he hacks into the drone, Nolan was making a point about how globalization could eventually produce a major enviromental disaster such as famine when we have 6 billion people all looking out for themselves. Interestingly, a major theme in the movie is self-preservation. Specifically, how do we get everyone to work together to preserve the next generation, when mostly only people care about the here and now? We see that through the actions of the elder Brand and ironically though the dialogue of Dr. Mann -he tries to kill Cooper even though he knows Cooper will fight with all his being to protect his children.
Saw the movie today morning in India, so I’ll attempt to clear some doubts here regarding the drone.
The Indian surveillance drone does come up in the very beginning of the movie were Coop chases it to hack wirelessly and hijack the drone to land it for harvesting it’s solar cells to power the machines of his farm.
He makes the Indian reference at two instances.
When he chases the drone, he mentions it as Indian Air Force Surveillance drone under Delhi Mission Control which has been flying autonomously for a long period.
He mentions India at his daughter’s school in reference to the quality of the drone he just captured.
But here comes the interesting part:
It seems the original script had Chinese drone and for reasons known only to the filmmakers, it was changed to India; see Indian Surveillance Drone.
This makes sense, considering Nolan wouldn’t waste a second on something which is unnecessary to the scene and so I think the dialogue regarding the quality of the drone was actually intended to make fun of Chinese quality and not to showcase superior Indian quality as it is shown now. So if it really was supposed to be a Chinese drone, then the answer for OP question is that it was suppose to mean Chinese-US ties got worse and Chinese became powerful enough to spy with autonomous drones on US skies.
Technically, the drone just looked like a scaled down version of Chinese Pterodactyl drone, but couldn’t be sure.