The Beginning of Atal Tinkering Lab: FIZ Robotic Solutions
- January 12, 2023
- Posted by: FIZ Robotic Solutions
- Category: Atal Tinkering Lab
The Beginning of Atal Tinkering Lab
Strong economic and social progress for India will be fueled by linking science, technology, and innovation with societal results. In order to put India on the innovation map of the world, a wide range of structural reforms are being implemented. In order to foster an atmosphere that fosters scientific aptitude that leads to invention as well as a creative and innovative attitude at a young age, strong links between university, government, and business are being established. This will speed up growth for a New India. It was essential that the school curriculum in India be redesigned with innovation because the country’s old educational system was unable to keep up with the rapidly evolving needs of business.
In order to transform the Indian educational system and equip young students with 21st century skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, social and cross-cultural collaboration, ethical leadership, and more, this blog tells the tale of the first of its kind and largest government-led initiative in India’s history.
NITI Aayog, also known as the National Institution for Transforming India, was established on January 1, 2015, as a result of a decision passed by the Union Cabinet. The Government of India’s top policy “Think Tank,” NITI Aayog, offers both directional and policy inputs. In addition to developing long-term, strategic plans and initiatives for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also offers the Center and States pertinent technical guidance.
In addition, NITI Aayog is transforming into a cutting-edge resource centre with the tools, expertise, and resources needed to move quickly, support research and innovation, offer the government a strategic policy vision, and address unforeseen difficulties.
The NITI Aayog’s main responsibilities are:
- To create procedures for creating realistic plans at the local level, then gradually combining them at higher levels of government.
- To provide long-term, strategic frameworks for programmes and policies.
- To give our society’s underserved groups the specific attention they require in order to participate in the nation’s economic growth.
- To create plans with the active participation of states in light of the goals of the country, and to construct a shared vision of national development on priority areas.
- To establish a collaborative network of national and international specialists, practitioners, and other partners in order to encourage knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
- The United Nations has also designated NITI Aayog as the nodal organisation for monitoring, coordinating, and successfully implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals across the nation to achieve the desired transformation.
Formation of NITI Aayog
To accomplish the goals and objectives of the NITI Aayog, a high-level team that includes the Prime Minister as its Chairman, the Governing Council, which includes the Chief Ministers of the States and Lt. Governors of the Union Territories, experts and specialists from various fields, and the Regional Council collaborate.
The NITI Aayog is home to the flagship programme, The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which aims to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the entire nation.
By encouraging the promotion of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship at different levels, including higher education and research institutions, SME/MSME industry, corporate, and government ministerial level, through public-private partnerships, AIM under NITI Aayog is envisioned as an umbrella innovation organisation that would play a crucial role in the alignment of innovation policies between central, state, and sectoral ministries.
The creation of an institutional structure to foster innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset has been the initial focus. AIM is promoting innovation at the school level through the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL), where students have the chance to practise design thinking, broaden their intellectual boundaries in search of solutions to everyday challenges, and present their creations on recognised platforms.
Another citizen-led national movement being initiated by AIM is the Mentor of Change (MoC) Program, in which knowledgeable individuals mentor young ATL innovators for free with a strong commitment to country development.
The Atal Incubation Centers (AICs) of AIM are developing top-notch ecosystems for start-ups to thrive, providing the necessary assistance such as access to mentoring and investor networks. AIM saw the value of turning innovation into a national movement where citizens felt accountable for making a difference and contributed to it.
ATL is the flagship initiative of AIM, Government of India, to foster an innovative mindset among high school students across India. Innovation and entrepreneurship have become an integral part of our national mission with AIM under NITI Aayog, and children as young as 12 years old are being introduced to the world of technological innovation through ATL in schools.
The Atal Tinkering Lab programme is inspired by the ancient Indian Gurukul education system as well as the world’s most successful Finnish education system, with a focus on self-learning methodology, hands-on practical training, and exposure to real-world situations. ATL fosters curiosity and allows young innovators to get started. Students are free to think and explore, to try and fail, and even to come up with something novel.
Taking inspiration from the Stanford India Biodesign programme, which was an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and Stanford University, the programme is designed to equip students with 21st century skills such as design thinking, critical thinking, computational thinking, digital fabrication, and collaboration.
ATL is creating an ecosystem in which every individual can contribute to finding solutions to day-to-day problems of society and the country through frequent community sessions, thereby creating a strong essence of national service.
The ATL scheme provides grant-in-aid of up to 20 lakh to schools that are chosen to establish an ATL. The grant must be spent exclusively for the specified purpose over a maximum of 5 years, with Rs.10 lakh for capital expenditure and the remaining Rs.10 lakh for operational and maintenance expenses.
More than 5,000 ATLs had been announced as of December 2018, covering 87% of all districts and 110 Aspirational Districts in India. These labs, which have been established in both public and private schools, with the majority in coeducational and girls’ schools, serve as community hubs of innovation, transforming the way India learns, thinks, ideas, and innovates.
Significance of Atal Tinkering Labs for India
Combining traditional teaching methods with today’s experiential learning will be the key to developing an innovative blended education system in India. With the ATL initiative, the Government of India embarked on a noble mission to create an ecosystem that nurtures futuristic skills like complex problem solving, critical thinking, adaptive learning, and computational skills in children, with a vision to create 1 million neoteric innovators, keeping in mind the demands of the growing economy and global growth in innovation development.
Across India, the ATL initiative is harnessing children’s natural imaginative and problem-solving abilities and equipping them with future-ready skills. Access to a variety of ATL resources is assisting them in developing viable solutions to significant community problems.
Furthermore, the support of students, teachers, principals, and parents is regarded as critical in achieving ATL objectives. The overall goal is to disrupt the Indian education system and create an army of young innovators ready to take on new challenges as they work to build the New India.
Objectives of Atal Tinkering Lab
The following are the primary goals of establishing ATL:
- To assist in the development of innovative solutions to India’s unique problems, and thus to support India’s efforts to grow as a knowledge economy.
- To design workspaces where young minds can learn innovation skills, sculpt ideas through hands-on activities, and work and learn in a flexible setting.
- To instil in our youth 21st-century skills such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, design thinking, social and cross-cultural collaboration, ethical leadership, and so on.
Program Design of Atal Tinkering Lab
The ATL programme design systematically assists the ATL In-charge in cultivating an innovation mindset among young innovators. Aside from innovation, students benefit from ATL activities in terms of overall personality development, soft skills, technology skills, and 21st century skills.
The ATL exposes Indian students to a very different microenvironment, one that allows them to experiment with new ideas, test them, and learn by doing. Students are introduced to four different levels of tinkering, in which they engage in design thinking and ideation, allowing them to develop a new perspective on social and community problems. Students are introduced to new technologies and concepts of computational thinking, physical computing, and other sectoral areas as they progress through the journey.
The ATL fosters a growth mindset in young students by diligently guiding them through the four levels of tinkering in these labs.