Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ITRA – Policy Paralysis or Lack of Imagination?

“R&D projects of Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA) in the areas of ‘Mobile Computing, Networking and Applications (ITRA-Mobile)’ and ‘IT based Innovations in Sustainability of Water Resources (ITRA-Water)’ have been launched... Shri J Satyanarayana, Secretary...further emphasized that the initiative is in line with the R&D framework of DeitY which has been drawn up to strike the right balance between basic and applied research and addresses some of the domains which have been emphasized by the R & D framework such as Agriculture, Water, Energy etc. He further stressed that R&D focus must culminate into transfer of technology and commercialization of research. 

14 team projects have been initiated at 44 institutions across the country in these two areas of ‘ITRA- Mobile’ and ‘ITRA-Water’. These projects are expected to enable in the generation of about 150 quality PhDs. More areas for initiation of R&D team projects are under consideration.” - GoI Press Release.

Because of curiosity I went through the list of participating institutions. You can see the list here -> http://medialabasia.in/itra/itra/index.php/getting-involved/menu-itra-institutions. Interestingly I am not able to find any private companies there.

It is good to promote R&D and commercialization of research; it is good to bring in academic institutions. But, why government is not so interested in bringing private companies? An academic-industrial partnership will create better results, than making these projects simply another government funded ones. Focus should not be on more PhDs but on the viability and real potential of these projects.

One can take a metal oxide, spend some three years, and come up with a PhD; but how far these PhD are useful for industry and(or) society? That’s what we have to focus on. There are hundreds of small and big Indian companies working on mobile and networking. Why don’t bring them in?


No comments:

Post a Comment