Need for Assistive Technologies for Industry 4.0

No. PR- 164

December 18, 2020

New Delhi

Need for Assistive Technologies for Industry 4.0

Digital India and the burgeoning wave of Industry 4.0 has is paving the need to focus on integrated technologies so that different communication processes for the disabled can be utilized, deliberated Mr. Ravindra Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Skill Council for Person with Disabilities (SCPD), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in E-Conclave organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on ‘Assistive Technologies 2020’.

Mr. Ravinder Singh while talking about disability being integral to life states that the productivity and commitments of disabled people is higher than others across varied industries and mentioned that there is a need to establish new technologies and platforms for the upliftment of the disabled in terms of affordability, simplicity, and sustainability. He also discussed the use of smartphones and its reach to every corner of the country.

While discussing the skill development and training programs being initiatives, emphasized the need to make these programs reach the doorstep so that women can also have access to them. He mentioned that India is in a better position compared to other countries in terms of Indian Industries mainstreaming and inclusion.

Dr. Charudatta Jadav, Head Accessibility R&I, Tata Consultancy Services Limited while discussing assistive technology and its gap in mainstream technology said that innovations like audiobooks, ramps, fidget spinners, escalators, test to speech, brain sensors, eye tracking, driverless cars, and others have helped to elevate assistive technology in such a way that it has ease everyone’s life apart from the disabled. Talking about India context, he emphasized the need to channelize the resources and intent to innovate to impact for creating a multiplier effect. He mentioned that there is a need for the dedicated federation of the industry for Assistive Technologies; a nation-wide strategy and the active role of the government in core research and specialized product development.

Prof. P. V. Madhusudhan Rao, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Design and Head of Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in his presentation on Economic and Social Prosperity through Assistive Technology shared his views upon People with Disabilities and their Economic and Social Dependence; Assistive Technology and Economic and their Social Prosperity. He touched upon 6 sustainable development goals and their need in developing assistive technologies. He gave insights on multiple dimensions catering to Assistive technology that were technical, medical, business, social, and human-centric designs. He also discussed the

5 Ps of WHO being implemented which are People, products, policy, provision, personnel, stakeholder of assistive technology, its challenges affordability and access to Assistive technology.

Mr. Pulkit Aggarwal, Investment Director, Assistive Technologies, Social Alpha while sharing insights about assistive technology from innovators point and identifying potential innovators into becoming entrepreneurs mentioned certain sectoral gaps in assistive technology that include lack of product development and research infrastructure; affordability and sustainability; poor market access and poor infrastructure distribution; investments and manufacturing.

Mr. Aggarwal also mentioned that there is a need to establish innovative financial models for providing subsidies and blended financing to young AT entrepreneurs which will help to promote the efficiency of improvement in the faster roll-out of innovations and their product validations in the market.

Dr. Suraj Singh Senjam, Dept. of Community Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS gave a presentation about Assistive Technology for visual impairment and talked about disability in India, Right to Person with Disabilities Act 2016 and the need for Assistive Technologies looking at the health and development needs. Talking about Assistive Technology for visual impairment, he discussed that they are growing rapidly including from simple low technology to high technology and the kinds of functions required to make them efficient. He mentioned that the way forwards to improve access to Assistive Technologies especially for visual impairment, we need to focus on people, products, policy, and provisions.

Mr. Prateek Madhav, Co-Founder and CEO, AssisTech Foundation (ATF) talking about disability, challenges, and opportunities, mentioned that the Disability start-ups ecosystem is fragmented and there is a need to promote it. Talking about trends in Assistive technology, he discussed blitz scaling, co-creation, innovative DNA, the end of the distance, and the power of AI.

Prof. M. Balakrishnan, CSE Department, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in his presentation on Innovation and Entrepreneurship challenges in Assistive Technology Space shared about the innovations made by ASSISTECH visually impaired people and the opportunities available for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Kunal Singhal, Co-Chair, ICT and Electronics Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry discussed the need for assistive technologies to overcome limitations and create towards work efficient future.

The conclave was moderated by Dr. Jatinder Singh, Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and was attended by many industry stalwarts pan-India.


Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry