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National Strategy for Robotics (NSR)

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology


Source: BS

 Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in India has released a draft “National Strategy for Robotics” (NSR) aimed at strengthening the innovation cycle of robotic technology and fostering India’s leadership in robotics by 2030.


What is Robotics?

Robotics deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots coupled with computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.



According to the World Robotics Report for the year 2022, India ranks 10th globally in terms of annual industrial installations of robots.


Potential of Robotics in India:

  • India’s Strengths in Future of Work: India’s strengths in Future of Work (Tech Economy 0) include robotics, AI, IoT, cloud computing, supply chain 4.0, 3D printing, big data, digital payments, etc
  • Applications in Agriculture: Robotics in agriculture: Autonomous precision seeding, Micro-spraying robots, Weed removal robots, Drones, Robot-assisted precision irrigation.
  • Human-Automation Balance: Balancing human interface and automation, e.g., collaborative robots (Cobots) working alongside skilled workers.
    • Upskilling of migrant workers for greater efficiency.
  • Employment Scope: Leading sectors: manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, packaging, FMCG, and inspection


Some key components of the draft NSR include:

Policy FrameworkA framework for implementing robotics in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and national security, aligning with the Make in India 2.0 Framework
Nodal AgencyThe Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will serve as the nodal agency for robotics, overseeing the NSR through the ‘National Robotics Mission’ (NRM).
ClassificationIndustrial, Service and Medical Robots
Core Areas identified by NSRManufacturing: Logistics and Warehousing automation, Process Optimization etc.
Healthcare: Surgical Robots, telemedicine area, etc.
Agriculture: Crop scouting, spot Spraying, etc
National Security: Combat robots, Mine Detection etc.
InterventionsFiscal and non-fiscal interventions by the NRM to support innovation in robotics, including funding mechanisms for start-ups and export promotion.
Regulatory FrameworkEstablishment of a regulatory framework led by the Robotics Innovation Unit (RIU) for proper governance and regulation of robotics technology.
Ensuring Regulatory Sandboxes and development of robotics industrial zones.
Centres of ExcellenceCreation of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Robotics for foundational and applied research, with private sector involvement in application-based research.
Advisory SupportPlans for providing advisory support to start-ups, utilizing research potential in higher education institutions, and developing robotics industrial zones.
Public Procurement PolicyA proposed policy where the central government acts as a demand aggregator for domestically manufactured robotic systems, incentivizing domestic production.


Challenges in Adoption of Robotics in India:

Cost of AdoptionHigh cost due to imported hardware components and training expenses.
Skilled TalentAcquiring and retaining quality talent in the multidisciplinary field of robotics.
Procurement of Hardware ComponentsDependence on countries like China, the USA, and Europe for necessary components.
Academic ChallengesLack of multidisciplinary knowledge in most students; Limited teaching of robotics in engineering institutes; Shortage of faculty.
Investment in IPR and R&DIndia’s investment in intellectual property rights (IPR) and research and development (R&D) lags behind developed countries.
Ethical considerationsE.g., such as privacy, absence of dedicated legislation for robotics, etc


For the application of Robotics: Click Here


Way forward:


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Mains Links:

What have been the challenges in the adoption of Robotics in India? Despite these challenges, how Robotics is shaping India’s future in various fields? (15M)