Atal Tinkering Robotic Lab

Swalath Nagar

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) is a sub-mission under the Atal Innovation Mission of the Government of India. ATL is the flagship initiative of AIM, the Government of India, to nurture an innovative mindset amongst high school students across the length and breadth of India. This is an important government scheme administered under the NITI Aayog.

What is Atal Tinkering Labs..?

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) have been established at schools across India under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Ayog, with a vision to “cultivate one million children in India as neoteric innovators”. The objective of the scheme is to “foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds” and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing, etc.

ATL is an activity conducted under the umbrella mission named ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ (AIM). AIM is the Indian Government’s flagship program to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • AIM establishes ATLs in schools across the country with a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’.
  • The chief objective of establishing ATLs is to promote curiosity, imagination, and creativity in the minds of school-going children.
  • Other goals of the scheme include inculcating in children a design mindset, adaptive learning, computational thinking, physical computing, etc.
  • The philosophy behind ATLs is that prize awards and incentives are a great start to generate an aggressive wave of innovation and entrepreneurship in school-going children.

Features of Atal Tinkering Labs

ATL’s are workspaces where children can realize their ideas through hands-on do-it-yourself mode and also acquire innovation skills.

  • They get the chance to comprehend STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts.
  • The labs contain educational kits and equipment on electronics, science, robotics, sensors, 3D printers, computers, and open-source microcontroller boards.
  • The labs can also have other upgraded facilities, such as video conferencing and meeting rooms.
  • There would also be other activities such as national and regional level competitions, problem-solving workshops, exhibitions, designing and fabrication of products, lectures, and so on.
  • The financial support for ATLs would be given by the AIM. Each school with an ATL will be given Rs.20 Lakh (includes a one-time Rs.10 Lakh for establishment + operational expenses of Rs.10 Lakh for a maximum of 5 years).

Why are Atal Tinkering Labs in News..?

On April 9, 2021, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) decided to adopt 295 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across the country, with an objective to inculcate scientific research and innovation culture among students. Top research scholars and scientists at CSIR will mentor students at these ATLs and act as resource persons.

On January 11, 2021, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to adopt 100 Atal Tinkering Labs with an aim to promote education in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), space education, and space technology-related innovations for school students.

The Department of Space (DOS), Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog will adopt 45 Atal Tinkering Labs in the first phase and then 55 others will be adopted by ISRO.

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