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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Making and Launching of Technology Vision 2035

It is 5 years since launch of Technology Vision 2035 by PM on Jan 3, 2016. This series of blog is an attempt to remember the activitiees that happened before and after the launch. We plan to form a citizen centric intiative “Foundation 2035” to keep track of India’s progress with respect to TV2035. Contact me, if you are interested.

TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council) is an autonomous body of Dept of Science and Technology(DST), Govt of India based in Delhi. It was conceptualized in 1986 as Technology Think Tank of India by the then planning commission(converted to NITI Aayog few years ago). While giving approval to the formation of TIFAC, it was moved to DST by cabinet. It started functioning in DST, first as a group and in 1988, it became an autonomous body with Dr Y S Rajan as its first executive director(ED), who was also a scientist in DST. The group in DST continued to work in TIFAC even after it came into existence as a separate entity. For some time, it operated out of a temporary building in DST premises(which still exists and is called Old TIFAC bldg) then to a hotel next door and moved to a building inside IIT Delhi campus which is shared between TIFAC and IIT Delhi Dept of Management Studies.

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Empowering Women : KIRAN-IPR scheme

Dept of Science and Technology(DST), Govt of India funds activities to promote Science, Technology and Innovation in India. Among these are also schemes to empower women. One of the schemes is called Women Scientist Scheme (WOS) or KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing). This has 3 components WOS-A, WOS-B and WOS-C (or KIRAN-IPR). Main purpose of these schemes is to bring back women with S&T background and mid-career break to main stream again.

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