Boosting India’s 6G Vision: UGC Asks Heads of IITs, NITs to Upgrade PhD, M Tech Programmes With Emerging Tech – News18

On March 22 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharat 6G research and development testbed.

The directions come based on a report prepared by a panel appointed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to review the tele-communication curriculum across higher education institutes. These institutes must also increase the intake in the Masters and research courses by 25-50% in telecom-related subjects, the panel recommended

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday wrote to the heads of all IITs, NITs and universities to update their MTech and PhD programmes with courses in emerging tech in the telecom sector in order to boost 6G innovation in India. The directions come based on a report prepared by a panel appointed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to review the tele-communication curriculum across higher education institutes.

These institutes must also increase the intake in the Masters and research courses by 25-50% in telecom-related subjects, the panel recommended.

According to the report, taking into account the requirements of 6G, the panel has identified potential research areas for PhD programs including — Optical Communications, Satellite Communications, Broadcasting, RF Engineering, Telecom Standardisation and IPR, among others.

“Achieving the objectives of 6G communications requires a consensus on emerging concepts and enabling technologies. Consequently, it is crucial to update and adapt the undergraduate and graduate education of communications engineering to the demands of the pre-6G era. The higher educational institutions are requested to examine the report and make suitable upgrades to the MTech and PhD programmes,” read the note dated November 30.

On March 22 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharat 6G research and development testbed. The development of 6G vision is based on the recommendations of the Technology Innovation Group (TIG) and six task forces formed to explore the major pillars of the 6G Vision and develop a roadmap and action plans for the same in India.

7-MEMBER PANEL

The DoT had formed a committee with the objective of reviewing the telecom related topics in curriculum of communications engineering and has now come up with its report. The seven-member panel has representatives from the government and academia, including IIT-Delhi.

The committee compiled data of the existing approved intake in MTech and PhD programmes being run in telecom area across institutes under the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), IIT Council (the regulatory body for all IITs), Indian Institutes of Sciences, Education and Research (IISER) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

“Data for all colleges has not yet been received but the available data suggests the trend that there is huge demand for MTech and PhD courses in IITs and other top institutes, as these have adequate lab facilities. However, in other engineering colleges, seats are not getting fulfilled and large no of seats remains vacant every year. In order to address the poor response towards M Tech programs in various engineering institutions, several suggestions have been proposed for improving the programme,” the report said.

The panel suggested identifying and engaging renowned institutions such as IITs to mentor 20-25 AICTE-recognized institutes in a Hub and Spoke Model. It also asked the UGC to review the necessity of offering MTech courses in colleges where there is low demand and consider reallocating resources accordingly.

“It is thus recommended to increase the number of seats for M Tech and PhD in IITs, NITs and other top colleges by 25% to 50% in telecom stream. This will create required number of skilled workforce capable of driving innovation in the country and will boost the growth in the telecommunications industry. For other colleges, intensive actions are required to be initiated for improvement of lab infrastructure and faculty development so that students may get enrolled in these colleges as well,” the report stated.

The other subject areas in the sector identified by the panel include Quantum Communication, Quantum Machine Learning (QML), Immersive XR, Edge cloud computing, Space-Terrestrial Integration, Dense optical networks, User-defined virtualized air interfaces and Semantic Communication, Optical Communications and Satellite Communications, among others.