Sun. Sep 24th, 2023
    National Strategy for Robotics: Strengthening India’s Leadership in Robotics by 2030

    The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India has recently unveiled a draft “National Strategy for Robotics” (NSR) with the aim of enhancing the innovation cycle of robotic technology and positioning India as a global leader in robotics by 2030. Robotics involves the design, construction, operation, and application of robots with the support of computer systems for control, feedback, and information processing.

    According to the World Robotics Report for 2022, India currently holds the 10th position globally in terms of annual industrial installations of robots. However, there is immense potential for the growth of robotics in India.

    India possesses strengths in several areas that contribute to the future of work, such as robotics, AI, IoT, cloud computing, supply chain 4.0, 3D printing, big data, and digital payments. In the agricultural sector, robotics can be applied for precision seeding, micro-spraying, weed removal, and even the use of drones and robot-assisted irrigation.

    The challenge lies in striking a balance between human intervention and automation. Collaborative robots, known as Cobots, can work alongside skilled workers to enhance efficiency. Migrant workers can be upskilled to adapt to the changing technological landscape.

    In terms of employment scope, the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, packaging, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), and inspection sectors are leading areas where robotics can make a significant impact.

    The draft NSR comprises various key components, including a policy framework to implement robotics in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and national security. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will serve as the nodal agency for robotics, overseeing the NSR through the ‘National Robotics Mission.’ The NSR prioritizes robotics automation in four core areas: manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and national security.

    To support innovation in robotics, fiscal and non-fiscal interventions will be carried out, including funding mechanisms for start-ups and export promotion. A regulatory framework, led by the Robotics Innovation Unit, will be established to govern and regulate robotics technology. Regulatory sandboxes and the development of robotics industrial zones are also part of the strategy.

    The creation of Centers of Excellence in Robotics, involving both foundational and applied research with the participation of the private sector, aims to further enhance expertise in this field. Advisory support will be provided to start-ups, research potential in higher education institutions will be utilized, and robotics industrial zones will be developed.

    One of the challenges in the adoption of robotics in India is the high cost associated with imported hardware components and training expenses. Another challenge is the acquisition and retention of quality talent in the multidisciplinary field of robotics. The dependence on other countries for necessary components and the limited teaching of robotics in engineering institutes are additional hurdles. Furthermore, India’s investment in intellectual property rights (IPR) and research and development (R&D) falls behind developed countries. Ethical considerations, such as privacy and the absence of dedicated legislation for robotics, must also be addressed.

    Despite these challenges, robotics holds immense potential in shaping India’s future. The adoption of the draft National Strategy for Robotics will pave the way for India to become a global leader in robotics by 2030.


    – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India
    – World Robotics Report 2022
    – Business Standard