IMPRINT Domain Details
World Health Organization statistic shows that India has made considerable progress over recent years in attaining Millennium Development Goals. However, its relative ranking among nations continues to remain poor. The challenges faced are many as well as complex, in ensuring healthcare is accessible, affordable and appropriate for all concerned. There is a need in developing technology based solutions, using traditional knowledge, and emphasizing on disease avoidance to reduce overall disease burden. The IMPRINT-India Healthcare road map building exercise, centers around educational and research perspectives on the concepts of healthy living, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, after-care, management, legal issues and innovation ecosystem.
Information and Communication Technology
Information and Communication Technology pervades almost all walks of life, including education, health-care, environment-management, water-resource management, to mention a few. The first task of information technology is to gather information omnipresent in different forms and languages, through sensing of data such as biological data, data pertaining to environment, education, heritage, land usage and cognitive information about users. Such information gathered in diverse field situations, has to be communicated to distant servers through secured, reliable and fast communication channels, followed by different types of processing and analytics. To carry out large scale and fast computations and in-place embedded-real-time computations, novel indigenous computational infrastructures are necessary. The IMPRINT program aims to identify the gaps and the "things to be done" in India to make India self reliant in these aspects.
Energy is a critical input for India's development. Energy shortages and affordable energy access are major challenges facing India. Innovations in conventional energy supply systems (coal, oil, natural gas), energy efficiency and renewables are essential for India's growth. The IMPRINT Energy initiative plans to create a roadmap to enhance the competitiveness of Indian industry in the energy sector by collaborative research, design and development, devise grand challenges for multidisciplinary research missions and enable disruptive technologies. The IMPRINT Energy theme will also articulate the needs for capacity building and manpower development for India's energy sector. India has the potential to achieve leadership in the Energy sector. Our goal is to create a framework to enable this.
India is at the threshold of a major shift in the way human habitation is perceived. By the end of 2030, 250 million new urbanites are expected to join in Indian cities. The agglomeration will certainly provide increased economic impetus but poses significant social and environmental threat. Indian cities which are already struggling with poverty, slums, informality, pollution, and resource degradation, need swift yet sustainable solution to extend a decent quality of life to every urban dweller. In order to achieve the coveted livability in our habitat, the domain has envisaged an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The output of this exercise will be disseminated as an education policy and framework to achieve sustainable habitat in India.
India ranks third in terms of research publications and second in terms of patent filing in the field of Nanotechnology. The goal therefore must be to convert all of this excellent work and IP into tangible prototypes and products meeting the societal requirements. The IMPRINT program is expected to lay down a roadmap for India to achieve a leadership position in Nanotechnology product development. Identifying Grand Challenges faced by the society and addressing these challenges through a top-down approach is the best way to deal with these problems. The five problem areas to be addressed through the IMPRINT India Nanotechnology Grand Challenges initiative will be based on the concept of "high technologies at an affordable cost, addressing the societal needs".
Water Resources and River Systems
The country is undoubtedly staring at an impending water crisis, today. Large stretches of our rivers are already polluted beyond acceptable levels; most cities and towns face water shortage every year; sizable sections of the population do not have access to safe drinking water; over exploitation of groundwater has put that resource to stress in large parts of the country; contamination of both surface and groundwater has posed health problems; rapidly vanishing water bodies have brought down the resilience of water systems; low efficiencies of irrigation water use, point to a significant of wastage of water and poor water management practices and policies at all levels have contributed to the overall water crisis. The focus of the IMPRINT initiative in this domain is to come up with education and research policies to overcome significant challenges of water resources and river system.
Ability of a nation to harness nature as well as to cope with the challenges posed by nature is determined by its knowledge of materials and its ability to develop and produce them for various applications. Advanced Materials are at the heart of many technological developments that touch our lives. Electronic materials for communication and information technology, biomaterials for better health care, sensors for intelligent environment, energy materials for renewable energy and environment, materials for strategic applications and more. India has its own unique set of resource and technological challenges. The objective of the Imprint India Initiative in this domain is to come up with research and education policies which will provide the developmental path for Advanced Materials for our nation.
Manufacturing encompasses all the activities of making useful products or artifacts from the raw material by various processes and operations following a well-organized plan for all the aspects involved. Advanced manufacturing refers to the application of enabling technologies in manufacturing. It is important to select proper manufacturing processes and strategies to deliver the product or artifact with right quality at the right time to the customers at a competitive price. The challenges faced by the manufacturing domain differ from sector to sector depending on the variety and quantity required. Typical manufacturing intensive sectors are automobile, space, health care, energy, textile and defence. This roadmap will focus on enablement of skill sets for various manufacturing activities ranging from traditional to advanced levels.
Security & Defence
Protecting national resources including humans from invasion of any form is crucial to any country and is carried out by its DEFENCE. Role of Science and Technology in building a nation's defence infrastructure is key. In future, wars can be more TECHNICAL - it neither need to involve human beings nor arms and ammunition (for e.g., a cyber attack). The technological requirements to fight the "Modern War" necessitates a large multi-disciplinary Research and Development framework spread across the Academia and Industry that envisages, formulates and solves the challenges to "fight" the "Modern war". The Imprint India initiative will attempt to develop a blue-print of this framework including education policies aimed to generate skilled manpower needed to work on the challenges posed.
Environmental Science and Climate Change
Environmental change, specifically climate change, has emerged as a major concern in the 21st century. Deforestation and CO2 emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum are the main causes for our deteriorating environment. Demand for energy, water and food are driving these changes. The major environmental concern for India in the coming decades include air and water pollution, changes to monsoon rainfall and glacier retreat from climate change, impacts of climate change on our food, water and forestry resources, biodiversity loss, sea level rise and the consequent impacts on our coastal communities. India has already taken major initiatives to improve our scientific understanding of environmental change. The focus of the IMPRINT initiative in this domain is to come up with education and research policies to adapt and to mitigate these changes.