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India To Establish Tech, R&D Infrastructure Centres For Public-Private Use

The government is looking to establish 20 technology and research and development infrastructure centres that will be shared among academicians, research and development labs, start-ups, and industries. These centres called Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institutes (SATHI), will be professionally managed and will have “strong science and technology infrastructure”, according to the government.

The centres will house major analytical instruments to provide common services of high-end analytical testing, avoiding duplication and reducing dependency on foreign sources. The centres will be financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). They are most likely to be housed in top technology and engineering schools such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Three such centres set up at IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Delhi, and BHU Varanasi, are being operated with a transparent, open-access policy. DST will establish five centres every year for the next four years.

The government claimed that SATHI will address the problems of accessibility, maintenance, redundancy, and the duplication of expensive equipment in institutions, while reaching out to the less endowed organisations in need, such as industries, MSMEs, start-ups, and state universities. This will also foster a strong culture of collaboration among higher educational institutions across disciplines to take advantage of developments, innovations, and expertise in diverse areas. DST plans to set up five SATHI centres every year for the next four years.

Under the same initiative, the government will separately support 100 top-performing departments in universities and IITs, which is expected to augment their research facilities to global benchmarks. The research profiles of the supported departments align with national priorities of excellence in manufacturing, waste processing, clean energy and water, and the government’s flagship programme Start-up India.

The country has been ramping up its technology research and development infrastructure. A part of this is creating programmes in emerging technology. Earlier this month, IIT-Guwahati announced it would launch a school for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in data science and artificial intelligence (AI).

Recently, IIT-Roorkee launched online certification programmes in software development, cloud computing, and data science. They are designed to make learners industry-ready, building the technical skills that will help them become productive, reliable software developers by building end-to-end full-stack software applications.

As OpenGov Asia had reported, IIT-Roorkee will offer two types of programmes. The first is a 10-month advanced certificate programme in full-stack software development with a specialisation in either cloud computing or python for data science. The second is shorter duration certificate programmes in front-end software development, back-end software development, cloud computing, and Python for data science.

Learners will be taught by solving real-world problems, which will require planning, design, coding, code reviews, and testing. They will receive periodic and constant support from faculty and industry experts via live sessions and webinars. Students will also receive extensive career and placement assistance. The courses would be curated and delivered by a collaboration of experts from IIT-Roorkee, other academic institutions, and industry experts through online, self-paced, or hybrid modes. The programmes will consist of online content, weekend live sessions, and a series of practical projects.

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