Cuttack ITI develops service robot, hand-sanitizer dispenser to fight Covid-19

The Coronavirus pandemic will change how humans live, perhaps irreversibly. Society will need to come up with innovative solutions to maintain social distancing and other health precautions.

Government ITI at Cuttack, Odisha has come up with two innovations to help tackle the pandemic. First, it developed a service robot to help health workers maintain physical distancing. The robot can be used to carry food and medicines to patients and was developed with the help of SakRobotix Lab.

Another innovation recently shared by Dr. MN Pandey, Union Cabinet Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship is a safe hand-sanitizer dispenser.

While TimesNow has dubbed it as an ‘automated’ hand-sanitizer dispenser, the device actually appears to be a foot-pedal operated hand-sanitiser dispenser. It thus does away with the hand-operated dispensers which have a high risk of transferring the virus infection when installed in public places.

Several Bharatiya innovations from both govt. and private sector have been seen during the Covid-19 pandemic – covering items like indigenous test kits, ventilators, face masks, PPE kits, disinfection chambers etc.

One of the priority items after PM Modi came to power in 2014 was to massively scale up Bharat’s skill development programs. The Skill India Mission was launched in 2015 with a vision to impart skills training to 400 million people by 2022. But the journey has not been smooth despite private sector being involved in the exercise – from 2011 to 2016, ex-TCS CEO S Ramadorai led both National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). As of March 2019, only 25 million youth had been imparted skill training from 2016 onwards under various schemes of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

Last year, National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET), a new unified regulator for vocational education and training and skill development was established which will also recognise and regulate awarding and assessment bodies. There are over 15000 ITIs across Bharat, with 2500 being Government run and the rest private.

To make use of any post-Covid manufacturing shift to Bharat, providing employable human resources with the right skills will be paramount. For this, fostering an attitude of innovation, tinkering and respect for blue-collar skills is vital. Introducing hands-on workshops/labs in early years of school education, improving quality of ITIs, and single-minded focus on emerging as a manufacturing and scientific powerhouse within this decade is required.


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