Digital Fabrication Movement in India

Finally effort to create a digital fabrication movement is sweeping across the country with the AICTE IDEA Lab network growing. This would have profound effect on the innovation landscape of the country as well as manufacturing sector and growth of GDP and move India towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”

While preparing Technology Vision 2035, after joining TIFAC as its head in April 2013, we started tracking various technologies that were likely to impact us in the coming decades. I have described these aspects in detail in my blog Making and Launching of Technology Vision 2035. Among the many technologies that were on the horizon, we had 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing). This was also covered widely in the Manufacturing Sector Roadmap of Technology Vision 2035. I was aware of this and of FabLab initiative from MIT. 3D printing and other digital fabrication technologies were revolutionizing prototype development as well as customized manufacturing. The cost of setting up labs of this kind was around Rs 50 Lakhs at that time. Due to lack of awareness and cost, very few places in India were setting up such facilities. Most of the educational institutes were not aware of these developments nor were these part of the curriculum. Even those places (one could count them on fingers) were mostly setting it up for projects and special facilities, not for the part of regular training of students as part of the curriculum. From my project funding, I had procured a PCB milling machine to reduce the time to make PCBs. This made it easier for students to indulge in hardware development.

PCB Milling machine in my DA-IICT, Gandhinagar Lab 202
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How Artificial Intelligence Got into India’s Curriculum

When I served as a member of AICTE Perspective plan committee in 2017, I did not know that I would become part of a sequence of actions that led to the introduction of AI on large scale in India!

While AI was being taught as a part of Indian Institute’s curriculum for long time, it got its deserved place as a separate stream more recently. As Facebook showed photo of a meeting held at AICTE in 2017, I thought it would be good to write out the story for others to know.
At TIFAC, we had worked upon Technology Vision 2035 ( a set of 13 documents, consisting of a Main Vision document for India along with road maps for 12 sectors of importance such as Education, Healthcare, Energy etc.). See my blog on this at Making and Launching of Technology Vision 2035.

In April 2017, a committee was formed by AICTE to help in “Preparing Short & Medium Term Perspective Plan for Engineering Education in India”. Here is the photograph of the first committee meeting in AICTE HQRS in Delhi in May 2017.

First meeting of AICTE Perspective Plan Committee in May 2017
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DYPIU : National Science Day discussion on Nuclear Fusion

Prof Prabhat Ranjan, Vice Chancellor, D Y Patil International University, Akurdi, Pune leads a discussion on use of Nuclear Fusion for a clean energy for world. This was organized on the occasion of National Science Day (Feb 28, 2021). He is joined by Dr Akash Singh, Inventor and Investor and Mr Paul Mahal, a semiconductor expert and CEO, Stanford Ventures – both based out of Silicon Valley, USA.