National Strategy For Robotics:
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India has released a draft “National Strategy for Robotics” (NSR) aimed at strengthening the innovation cycle of robotic technology and fostering India’s leadership in robotics by 2030.
- Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots coupled with computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.
- According to the World Robotics Report for the year 2022, India ranks 10th globally in terms of annual industrial installations of robots.
- India’s strengths in Future of Work (Tech Economy 0) include robotics, AI, IoT, cloud computing, supply chain 4.0, 3D printing, big data, digital payments, etc
- Applications in Agriculture: Robotics in agriculture: Autonomous precision seeding, Micro-spraying robots, Weed removal robots, Drones, Robot-assisted precision irrigation.
- Human-Automation Balance: Balancing human interface and automation, e.g., collaborative robots (Cobots) working alongside skilled workers.
- Upskilling of migrant workers for greater efficiency.
- Employment Scope: Leading sectors: manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, packaging, FMCG, and inspection
Draft NSR include:
- A framework for implementing robotics in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and national security, aligning with the Make in India 2.0 Framework
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will serve as the nodal agency for robotics, overseeing the NSR through the ‘National Robotics Mission’ (NRM).
- Core Areas identified by NSR Manufacturing:
- Logistics and Warehousing automation, Process Optimization etc.
- Healthcare: Surgical Robots, telemedicine area, etc.
- Agriculture: Crop scouting, spot Spraying, etc
- National Security: Combat robots, Mine Detection etc.
- Interventions Fiscal and non-fiscal interventions by the NRM to support innovation in robotics, including funding mechanisms for start-ups and export promotion.
- Establishment of a regulatory framework led by the Robotics Innovation Unit (RIU) for proper governance and regulation of robotics technology.
- Ensuring Regulatory Sandboxes and development of robotics industrial zones.
- Creation of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Robotics for foundational and applied research, with private sector involvement in application-based research.
- Advisory Support Plans for providing advisory support to start-ups, utilizing research potential in higher education institutions, and developing robotics industrial zones.
- A proposed policy where the central government acts as a demand aggregator for domestically manufactured robotic systems, incentivizing domestic production.