Monday, 13 July 2020

R&D should be passion driven, purpose driven and people driven

R&D should be passion driven, purpose driven and people driven -
Padma Shri Dr.
T. Ramasami said

National Workshop on “Perspectives and Challenges in Outcome Based Research”
(NWPCOBR) inaugurated at NIT Trichy Trichy: NIT Tiruchirappalli is organizing a 5-day National Workshop on “Perspectives and Challenges in Outcome Based Research” under the aegis of AICTEMARGDHARSHAN Scheme, from July 13-17, 2020 (via video conferencing). The
Coordinators of the programme are Dr. K. N. Sheeba, Associate Professor, Department of
Civil Engineering, Dr.Sishaj Simon , Associate Professor, Electrical and Electronics
Engineering and Dr. Nisha Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor, Department of Civil
Engineering. The program was inaugurated in virtual platform through MS Teams
meetings at 9.00 a.m. on 13th July 2020 by the Chief Guest Padma Shri Dr. T. Ramasami,
Former Secretary,Department of Science and Technology (DST), in the presence of
Mr.Nitin Kanwade,General Manager Manufacturing, TATA Motors and Dr. Mini Shaji
Thomas, Director NIT Tiruchirappalli.

Dr. K. N. Sheeba, Associate Professor and coordinator welcomed the virtual gathering
and Dr. N. Sivakumaran,Professor and Chief coordinator, AICTE Margdarshan Scheme
briefed on the various activities carried out and initiated for mentee Institutes.He said
so far eight Faculty Development Programmes were organized in the thrust areas
with participation of faculty members from each mentee institutions, Internships were
arranged for B.Tech. Students and faculty members in various departments for a period
of one month.National level workshops on outcome based education was organised to
train the faculty members of mentee institutions to apply for accreditation
process.Current National level workshops on NWPCOBR focused on to train faculty
members to enhance outcome based research.He also said seperate workshops and
guest lectures are planned for mentee towards submission and processing of prequalifier
and submission of self assessment report (SAR) for National Board of
Accreditation (NBA).

Dr. Nisha Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor and coordinator briefed about the
workshop, mentioning this workshop is designed to enlighten researchers on topics of
utmost importance for an effective research program. It is also aimed at encouraging
the participants at the undergraduate/post graduate level to take up quality and
outcome based research work. The programme would enlighten the participants
through lectures on Research of National Importance, Research Methodology, Technical
Writing, Industrial Perspective Towards Research, Data analysis, Modelling Skills,
Creativity in Research; Ethics in Research, Copy Rights/Plagiarism Issues, Intellectual
Property Rights, Research Tools, Optimisation, Machine learning and more. She added
that there were more than 175 participants registered from all parts of the country. The
programme has lined up for lectures from esteemed speakers from the academia,
industry and research institutes such as Padma Shri Dr. T. Ramasami (Former Secretary,
DST), Mr.Nitin Kanwade (GM Manufacturing, TATA Motors) during the Inauguration,
followed by a line of speakers such as Mr. Kalaiselvan (Senior Director, CDAC
Trivandrum), Dr PR Venkateshwaran (Manager, ERI, BHEL Trichy), Dr. Sridharan
(Prof./ NIT Calicut), Dr.Deep Kiran (IIT Roorkee), Dr Abheejeet Mohapatra (IIT Kanpur),
Dr Sreeda P (PIC, Kerala), Dr.T.Ravichandran (IIT Kanpur), Dr.M.Chidambaram (former
Director, NITT), Dr Kevin Kumar (Deputy Manager, BHEL), Dr. Nidheesh ( Scientist,NERI
Nagpur), Dr. J. Ramkumar (IIT Kanpur), Dr Lalit Singh (Scientist, NPCIL-BARC, GoI), Mr.
Viswesvaran (Territory Manager, National Instruments).

Prof.Mini Shaji Thomas, Director NITT, in her presidential address said that the institute
had achieved with a major milestone of moving up the ranking ladder by one slot to
NINETH in NIRF ranking 2020 in Engineering category, and maintains the top position
among NITs for the fifth year in a row, to be part of National Super Computing Mission
(NSM), Super Computer, Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) Scheme and
National MOOCs Coordinator for offering Engineering Courses at UG and PG level by
MHRD, GOI. She also mentioned that this online mode of content delivery and online
platform based interactions are going to be the nature of work in near future. She also
mentioned that the lockdown does not hinder the institute progress. This way she also
wished the participants for joining this programme to get inspired and improved. She
added that AICTE Margdarshan Scheme will help to motivate the faculty members to
enhance teaching learning skills and students to come up with innovative ideas and
projects and widen the exposure to the prototype development on enhanced
educational standards and research aptitude. She also informed the participants of 4
new centre of excellences in the institute, with two centres functioning and 2 in the
anvil and invited the participants to consider utilizing the facility for their innovative

Mr.Nitin Kanwade,GM Manufacturing, TATA Motors, the guest of honor, in his inaugural
address spoke about his long association with NIT Trichy through an MoU signed
between the two institutes.He also highlighted the importance of Industry 4.0 and
digitalization. He indicated approaches such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA),
Plan Do Check Act (PDCA), Standardize Do Check Act (SDCA) in practice. He highlighted
different revolutions starting from Industry 1.0, 2.0, 3.0. Mr Nitin indicated that now
presently there is a transition from Industry 3.0 to 4.0. He highlighted different
terminologies associated with Industry 4.0 such as Cyber Physical Systems (CPS),
Digitization, Digital Twin and so on. Mr Nitin indicated that in Tata Motors presently
initiatives in Industry 4.0 in manufacturing viewpoint in terms of productivity
improvement; in design front in terms of proto making, product Lifecycle Management
(PLM), Digital Mock Up (DMU) and so on are done . Also, he highlighted on how
industries are handling numerous product variants and wider customer preferences. At
the end Mr Nitin mentioned about the trends in electric vehicle technology and the
scope of manufacturing batteries in Indian scenario.

Padma Shri Dr. T. Ramasami inaugurated the programme and gave the Chief Guest
address. He mentioned about the change to virtual mode of programme are at an
advantage and he appreciated the efforts put in by the faculty members and the NITT
administration in the recent past for having competing with the top IITs and for
securing first position among non-IIT institutions. Moreover he also mentioned that
NITT is producing more researchers.He also insisted importance of linking R&D to
social outcome and research developed in Laboratories need to nurture industry
towards an outcome based research.Institution in India should focus more on public
private partnership mode that can be used to fund, build, and operate projects based on
thrust areas of research and development.

In his lecture on , “R&D Funding in Context of Low Resource Setting”, he said that R&D
should be passion driven, purpose driven and people driven. He mentioned that there
should always have a vibrant ecosystem for doing R&D namely having intellectual
freedom, Progressive planning, De bureaucratization of funding and Freedom from
Feudalism. He gave an detailed idea of different funding sources where innovative
proposals can be submitted. He emphasized on the moto for “Convergence of
Innovation” which links science, technology and innovation to people. Dr. T. Ramasami
also spoke about the changing National R&D in India. He mentioned that India today has
37000 colleges, 750 universities, 9 science departments,680 national R&D institutes
and about 2,20,000 Full Time Equivalent R&D professionals and gave a chart of growth
of research from Pre 1947 to the current time.

Dr. Ramasami spoke about the primary, secondary and tertiary role of an academic
institution in R&D, mentioning that any academic institute should create and inspire
talent for research careers. He emphazied on R&D transfer saying that University sector
needs to explore new tools for capitalization of its intellectual assets through the acts of
commercialization of technologies. This might call for cultural changes in Indian social
context. In this current situation of conora where everything has come to a standstill,
Funding opportunities for R&D are expanding globally; but investors seek timely
returns from R&D. Corona has taught us the mismatch and time lags among knowledge
and money flows and common people wanting solutions from R&D. Can R&D solve
problems? It should.

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