ITRA Workshop 2014

January 1-3, 2014, India International Center, New Delhi

Shri. J. Satyanarayana-IAS, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India, launched multi-disciplinary, collaborative, multi-institutional R&D projects of Information Technology Research Technology (ITRA) in the areas of “Mobile Computing, Networking and Applications (ITRA-Mobile)” and “IT based Innovations in Sustainability of Water Resources (ITRA-Water)”.

Dr. G. V. Ramaraju, MD & CEO Media Lab Asia and Group Coordinator -R&D in IT, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India, explained the genesis of ITRA. Prof. Narendra Ahuja, Director ITRA explained the strategies and methodology of ITRA. He said that ITRA focuses on strengthening the nation’s competitiveness by expanding the R&D base in IT, especially by leveraging the large IT education sector and IT users such as government, industry and other organizations. The enhanced IT R&D capacity created through ITRA will impact the overall ecosystem of Information Technology, to be reflected in the numbers of research groups and labs created, new research areas initiated, scale of PhD graduations, new curricula, innovative solutions to industrial and societal problems, strong linkages with R&D groups, etc. The projects in ITRA-Mobile and ITRA-Water are expected to enable in the generation of about 150 quality PhDs. More areas for initiation of R&D team projects are under consideration.

Dr. G.V. Ramaraju, MD & CEO Media Lab Asia; Dr. R. Chandrashekhar, President Nasscom; Shri. J. Satyanarayana, Secretary, DeitY; Prof. S. V. Raghavan, Scientific Secretary, PSA, GOI; Smt. Rita Teaotia, Additional Secretary, DoT; Shri L. A. V. Nathan, Chief Engineer, CWC, MoWR, Prof. Narendra Ahuja, Director, ITRA at Launch of ITRA-Mobile and ITRA-Water projects.

Shri. J. Satyanarayana, Secretary DeitY in his inaugural address said that, ITRA addresses the R&D needs of the country in ICT&E by emphasizing on the right themes and right Teams and remarked that the programme is very timely effort. He 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 has 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.

Shri. R. Chandrashekhar, President NASSCOM added “IT is a sector in which we are world leaders and has created lot of employment opportunities. However, we must identify the gaps and address them such as to how IT can impact major verticals such as agriculture, finance etc”. He further said that industry and academic synergy and emphasizing on IT in X area are the need of the hour and ITRA is aiming to address these issues. He further said that industry involvement as envisaged in ITRA initiative is important. He corroborated the need of commercialization of research by transforming them into products and services through innovation.

Prof. S. V. Raghavan, Scientific Secretary to Office of PSA, GOI in his note said that IT is ubiquitous and pervasive. He said that the academia is enthusiastic with new ideas and the younger generation is not just looking for jobs but aiming at achieving practical results and solutions. As an example he mentioned problems such as human simulator and diagnostic domes. He expressed happiness over the launch of ITRA projects in two thematic areas.

Smt. Rita Teaotia additional Secretary DoT, congratulated the timely launching of the ITRA initiative and further remarked that mobile and smartphone as well as tablets are having sizable penetration and initiatives like national optical fibers are providing the requisite infrastructure for M2M connectivity and further expressed hope that ITRA initiative in the domain of Mobile and water would result in positive outreach.

Shri L. A. V. Nathan, Chief Engineer, Central Water Commission congratulated Media Lab Asia for launching ITRA-Water and ITRA-Mobile. He further said that in present era resources such as human, personnel and funds are limited and the dimension of problems to address is ever increasing. ICT has big role to bridge the gap. He further said that ITRA efforts of launching ITRA-Water would immensely benefit the society.