PALS Industry-Academia Conclave throws the spotlight on Industry 4.0

Conclave aimed at tackling challenge of workforce skill gap in Industry 4.0, which brings together Physical Worlds & Digitisation of Manufacturing Processes
CHENNAI, : PALS (PAN IIT Alumni Leadership Series), a voluntary educational initiative of Alumni of all IITs, organized an Industry-Academia Conclave at IIT Madras Campus today (Saturday, 30th June 2018). The theme of the Conclave was ‘Conquering Industry 4.0.’

Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by the coming together of Digital and Physical worlds and Digitisation of Manufacturing Processes, based on cyber-physical systems, will throw up challenges in leadership and workforce skill gap, for which both Industry and Academia are to be prepared. PALS views itself to be in a position to facilitate measures to bridge this gap.

The Conclave Guests of Honour were Mr. B. Muthuraman, Former Vice Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd, Mr. K. Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Dr. Anand Samuel, Vice Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology.

They provided the perspective from Industry and Academia on 'Conquering Industry 4.0' in a session moderated by Prof. R. Nagarajan, Dean (International and Alumni Relations), IIT Madras.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. B. Muthuraman, Former Vice Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd, said, “We are chasing our goals, in order to strive for change which is all in 4.0. Continuity is important for life. The prime purpose of the industry is to supply products and services with improved quality over time. Industry 4.0 is about technology. The biggest challenge faced is changing the mind-set of the senior leading heads of the organization. Every organization needs to think on how to move forward and try changing the aspect of thinking.”

Delivering his thoughts on 'Conquering Industry 4.0,' Mr. K. Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, said, “Technology can never be stable, it will keep changing, and it is through us that it needs to be utilised in the  manner that satisfies our need. The computing industry has been on the path to double its efficiency, in this consumeristic world. Most of us in this techno-savvy world are not easily able to cope with the new ideas; hence technology has to think of simpler ways to reach in the era of 4.0.”

Talking about the Academic perspective, Dr. Anand Samuel, Vice Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), said, “Gone are the days when we spoke about core and interdisciplinary orientation.  It is now transdisciplinary orientation that’s in trend. In this disruptive world an appropriate mind-set is required to create and respond to the current challenge.”

The Conclave explored the Industry-Academia gaps and ideated improvements which PALS can facilitate by catalysing its Partners in Industry and Institutes. Going forward, this Industry - Academia Conclave will be an annual affair of PALS, which will look at Solutions and Approaches to the challenges of Industry 4.0 that can be implemented by Industry and Academia partners with facilitation from PALS.

The event is a curtain raiser for a series of activities planned by PALS during 2018-19. PALS will organize residential workshops, internship and Summer Projects, Faculty Development Programs, Industry visits for College students and Summits on Educational Excellence and Intellectual Property.

Speaking about the importance of the conclave, Mr. Mohan Narayanan, Chairperson, PALS, said, “We have designed the Conclave and its theme to bring together Industry and Academia for their inputs to redesign and recreate PALS solution offering in our constant endeavour to improve engineering education.”

Participants include Chairman, Principals and other decision makers from PALS Partner Colleges and CEO's and other decision makers from the Industry across sectors. As many as 40 from Partner colleges and 70 from the Industry participated in the Conclave. 
Also, a break-out session, featuring all the participants, would be moderated by Mr. Prakash Gurumoorthy, CEO and Partner, Born Group. 
Ms. Alamelu. N, PALS Past Chair, said, “PALS has been successful in reaching knowledge, resources, facilities available with IIT, its alumni and the interacting industries to a large audience consisting of engineering colleges, management, faculty and students in a systematic and structured fashion. PALS 2018-19 chapter will rigorously pursue enhanced value proposition to all our stakeholders.” 
PALS is supported by IIT Alumni Industry Interaction Center (IITAIIC) and IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust (IITMACT) and has been rendering yeoman service for the past seven years through its activities to bridge the Industry-Academia gap. 
Mr. A.N. Arunkumar, PALS Industry Champion, said, “Going by the responses we received, we are excited about the immense interest in the Conclave from Industry and Academia.”