What’s New: Intel today announced the launch of the Intel® Unnati Program to help equip engineering students in India with industry-relevant data-centric skills. Through a network of system integrators, 100 Intel® Unnati Data-Centric Labs in emerging technologies will be set up over the next year across universities and engineering institutes in India. The initiative will provide the country’s higher educational institutions with long-term capabilities in technology and lab infrastructure, enabling a greater focus on research and innovation.
“Technology has never been more important than it is today and is a critical driver of future growth. It is imperative to ensure young talent in India has access to the right infrastructure and course content to keep pace with the fast-changing needs and expectations of the technology industry. Intel Unnati Data-Centric Labs will enable educational institutions to bridge the widening technology skill gap in the country, build industry-ready emerging technology competencies and provide strategic impetus to India’s digital economy transformation.”
–Nivruti Rai, country head of Intel India and vice president of Intel Foundry Services
How It Works: Focused on technology inclusion, the Intel Unnati Program strives to broaden access to technology infrastructure for educational institutions across all tiers. Institutions will have a choice of lab variants to suit their budgets and based on where they stand in their technology and infrastructure journey. Each Intel Unnati lab includes hardware and software stack recommendations from Intel, course content and co-branded course completion certificates for students. Currently, labs are available for artificial intelligence (AI), FPGA solutions and AI Internet of Things (AIIoT), with multiple other technologies in the pipeline including smart mobility and security.
“VIT-AP is involved in an active process of applied learning with the help of experienced faculty who enable the students to channel their talent and intellect to contribute towards the development and sustainability of society,” said Dr. S.V. Kota Reddy, vice chancellor, VIT-AP University. “With its focus on data-centric technologies, Intel Unnati labs provide an excellent platform for students to build industry-relevant skills in emerging technologies like AI, HPC, FPGA and AIIoT. Intel Unnati complements our current programs and curricula well, and I view it as a strong ally to realize our vision and build a research and innovation ecosystem that produces impactful work.”
Program implementation is supported by a network of system integrators across India who can customize the lab configuration to suit each institution’s requirements, train the faculty on course content, and provide ongoing maintenance support. The emphasis is on hands-on experiences that build confidence among students in the use of hardware and software toolkits.
More Context: India’s National Education Policy 2020 stresses the need for greater industry-academic linkages, and for higher education institutions to focus on research and innovation with a strategic thrust toward new and emerging disciplines. Enhancing the curriculum in higher education so that students and faculty are equipped with data-centric skills is an important foundational element for progress in India’s digital transformation journey.
The Intel Unnati Program has been piloted across 15 colleges that are in the process of setting up Centres of Excellence on their campuses, with three of these labs operational. The program was unveiled at the Intel India Conclave for Leaders in Education ’21, a two-day virtual conference attended by eminent professors and leaders from the government, industry and academia.
Making technology inclusive and expanding digital readiness is a key component of Intel’s RISE strategy and critical to the company’s corporate purpose. Intel has committed to expanding digital readiness to reach 30 million people in 30,000 institutions in 30 countries by 2030.