NITI Aayog brainchild Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has picked 1,500 more educational institutions across the country for establishing Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) programme to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in schools, universities, and industry.
According to NITI Aayog, the addition of these schools will inculcate the vision of this mission among young minds. Since its inception in 2016, AIM has selected 2441 schools from India to set up Atal Tinkering Labs. These schools were selected from over 25,000 applications that were received. AIM claims that this expansion will cover around 98% of the smart cities and 93% of the districts.
These labs will be a great workspace for students between grade VI to XII to implement their ideas with science and technology. With a simple yet massive vision of permeating children with cutting-edge ideas like innovation and entrepreneurship, they want India to be prepared with 1 million children as innovators of tomorrow.
These workspaces are equipped with all the modern technologies like 3D printers, robotics, sensor technology kits, Internet of Things, miniaturized electronics that will assist bright students to study local community problems and solve them using technology.
With the establishment of ATLs in schools, students have found a way to fulfill their curiosity, creativity and imagination. Students have already started solving real-world problems and come up with effective solutions like irrigation management, waste management and sensor-based solutions using IOT devices and robotics.
Currently, there is at least one ATL in every state and union territory. For the establishment of every ALT, AIM provides a grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years.
With ATLs, students can explore popular skills like computational thinking, adaptive learning and artificial intelligence. The Mission Director of ATL R. Ramanan considers that active engagement of Atal Tinkering Labs is extremely important in the mission to transform India into an innovative country.