The Germany-based International Federation of Robotics (IFR) has estimated that by 2020, more than three million industrial robots would be put to use in factories around the world and currently there are only three robots for every 10,000 workers in India.
While global tech giants are keen on training Indians in advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computer Science and Machine Learning (ML), the All India Council for Robotics and Automation (AICRA) firmly believes that mentorship, technical support and investments in robotics and automation are urgently required in the country.
“This is a very crucial time for India to pull up its socks and develop robotics and automation as deeper technologies,” AICRA President Raj Kumar Sharma said on the sidelines of the 5th International Robotics League and World Robotics Championship: Technoxian 2019 held recently in New Delhi.
Currently, not even one Indian company is part of the top 50 companies working in robotics. If we do not act fast, competing with others after they reached the advanced stages would become very expensive and difficult for us, Sharma said.
In 2015, the Indian government had invested $13 billion into developing robotics under its “Make in India” initiative, triggering an initial growth spurt at the time following which the drive gradually lost its momentum.
“We need to develop and deliver workshops and training to educate people more on technology to help them figure out if they have the potential to become entrepreneurs ready to venture into robotics and automation so that they generate more jobs in the sector in the coming years,” Sharma added.
In the efforts to ramp up training in robotics and automation in the country, AICRA has launched an incubation environment for startups and other early stage adopters working on robotics and robotic process automation (RPA) in India.
“We are bringing workshops and robotics labs in schools in Indian metros, as well as in tier two and tier three cities. We have already established around 28 labs as of now, free of cost in multiple schools and colleges. We also provide trainers from our end to mentor the youngsters,” Sharma added.
Between May 2015 and May 2018, the number of professionals seeking job opportunities in robotics surged 191 percent in India, the media reported last year citing a study by job-seeking platform Indeed.
Sharma sought to clarify that such technologies’ adoption wouldn’t threaten the country’s employment status, but would rather open new job avenues for trained professionals.
Currently, the Indian state of Maharashtra offers the most job opportunities in the field of robotics and automation, followed by the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Telangana.
Talking to Sputnik, Vishesh Jain, Director of Academics, Gyan Ganga Group Of Institutions, a chain of engineering colleges operating in the tier-two cities of central India, said they’ve observed an inclination from students towards robotics.
“Students are very interested into understanding the mechanism of working robotics. The technology, if planned and executed into commercialisation, has a wide scope in industries like precision farming, fire fighting, navigation and surveillance,” Jain said.
According to AICRA, India "has the potential to grow very fast" if it succeeds in attracting funds as well as technical support from world leaders in robotics and animation.