Yet Another Roadmap to Solve Engineering and Technology Challenges

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technological challangesIn its bid to catch up with the other unfurling national drives like Make in India, et al, MHRD has come up with a set of 10 technological domains whereby high-powered research groups could be set up under IMPRINT. Elets News Network (ENN) brings you a close encounter as to what lies underneath

“If the institutes of higher learning come together, they can make a great difference in a short span of time to higher education sector in our country. IMPRINT India is synergising platform for institutions, academia, industry that encourages research and innovation, making it socially more relevant.”

The successful adoption of technology is becoming increasingly vital to functional independence of a society. Technology, broadly defined as the application of scientific knowledge such as tools, techniques, processes, methods and products, to practical tasks is universal in most societal contexts. The use of technology has become a significant part of work, communication and education.

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Pranab Mukherjee, President of India

Pranab Mukherjee, President of India

In the modern era, innovative research, engineering and technological developments that evolve from societal demands and make far reaching impact on humanity, warrant for more sound foundation in scientific principles and ethical values than earlier. They pose a huge challenge to develop a strategy and roadmap to achieve the desired goals. Therefore, there is a need to create and implement an education system that can inclusively and participatively evolve to transform the country and cater to the needs and aspirations of the people.

In order to adopt engineering and technology as the vehicle to address the societal needs and achieving national prosperity, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has drafted a new and catalytic scheme called IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT). The IMPRINT India is a Pan-IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in 10 technology domains relevant to India.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

“Society is becoming technology driven. Important to understand the importance of this and look towards affordable technology. We have to think about how our institutions can set up their own incubation centres. It is an Initiative to develop roadmap to solve technological challenges. The biggest strength of makein– India is human capital. Skill development is extremely vital as I believe that science is universal but technology has to be local.”

The Framework

A first of its kind initiative, IMPRINT is launched to address the major science and engineering challenges that India needs to address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the country for inclusive growth and selfreliance. The initiatives provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant. This novel initiative with a two-fold mandate is aimed at:

  • Developing new engineering education policy;
  • Creating a road map to pursue engineering challenges.

Under the initiative, 10 goal posts have been identified and research groups on each of eminent experts are being set up to formulate time-bound plans of action for each. The task of the Research Group is to identify the needs of the nation in terms of its research and technology requirements and to enable proper planning for manpower, research infrastructure and resources. Leading academic institutions have been identified to set the process in motion.

Each technology domain of IMPRINT along with the underlying themes, targets and topics embedded in them represent the immediate goals before the nation for engineering innovation and intervention. Since IMPRINT is a national programme, initially steered by the IITs and IISc, ultimately the entire engineering fraternity of the country including IITs, NITs, national academies, governmental ministries and departments, research organisations, strategic sectors, policy agencies and industry must join hands and own the collective responsibility.

Smriti Irani, Union Human Resource Development Minister

Smriti Irani, Union Human Resource
Development Minister

“IMPRINT provides an overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.”

The domains and coordinators of IMPRINT, steered by IIT Kanpur as the national coordinator are as follows:

1. Health-care: IIT Kharagpur
2. Computer Science and ICT: IIT Kharagpur
3. Energy : IIT Bombay
4. Sustainable Urban Design: IIT Roorkee
5. Nano-technology Hardware: IIT Bombay
6. Water Resources and River Systems: IIT Kanpur
7. Advance Materials: IIT Kanpur
8. Manufacturing: IIT Madras
9. Defence: IIT Madras 10. Environment Science and Climate Change: IISC, Bangalore

IMPRINT comes out to be yet another initiative under the aegis of MHRD carrying the age-old homilies. It is surprising that even after decades of existence, there exist a seamless research and development ecosystem encompassing academia, research institutions and industrial stakeholders.

The success and eventual outcome of this well meaning ambitious exercise would emanate out of the redressal of the classic criticism of person-based research vis-a-vis product-based are duly integrated with national priorities.

IMPRINT is a policy developing initiative covering pedagogy, teaching, curriculum, technology-benchmarking and infrastructure readiness. It is a national movement providing an opportunity for the higher education institutes in India to integrate with all grassroot level institutes, industry and organisations, mutually complement and deliver what the country demands and aspires.

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