In a bid to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination among young innovators, Niti Aayog on Tuesday signed a two-year statement of intent (SOI) with tech giant Intel India to set up the first 10 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in the country.
Part of the government's flagship Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the tie-up will lead to the creation of laboratories at schools aimed at teaching skills such as computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing and developing a design mindset among students between 12-18 years of age.
Over a period of five years, $15 million are set to be spent on building and managing 500 ATLs in schools and communities around the country and these first 10 ATLs will act as exemplars for the remaining 490.
"The Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) will provide school students the opportunity to work with tools and equipments, fostering inventiveness. Students will also be able to exchange knowledge and learn from one another through regional and national-level competitions, exhibitions, workshops on problem solving, designing and fabrication of products, so that," Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, told reporters in New Delhi.
The signing event at the Niti Aayog office in the capital was attended by Kant, Rosalind Hudnell, Vice president (Corporate Affairs) at Intel Corporation and President of the Intel Foundation and Kishore Balaji, Director of Corporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia, among others.
"We are proud to be part of the Atal Innovation Mission to launch tinkering labs throughout India, which will ultimately help millions of children across the country develop the skills they need to be competitive as tomorrow's workforce," said Hudnell.
The first 10 labs intend to impact 250,000 youth with innovation skills for the future across 500 communities and schools.
As part of the initiative, Intel India will facilitate ideation, design thinking, and prototyping workshops through industry experts and co-lead an innovation festival.
"This collaboration is part of our endeavour to nurture local innovation and promote a culture of tinkering among our future citizens," said Balaji.
NITI Aayog also organised an expert consultative group meeting on creating a framework for operationalising 500 ATLs.