SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to take stock of arrangements for opening Atal Tinkering Laboratories in various Educational Institutions of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Principal Secretary, School Education Department, Principal Secretary Youth Service and Sports Department, MD, Atal Innovation Mission, Dr Chintan Vaishnav NITI Aayog, Programme Director Atal Innovation Mission and Innovation Leads from NITI Aayog, besides Director School Education Jammu & Kashmir attended the meeting.
It was informed that NITI Aayog will be establishing 1,000 Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATL) in Jammu and Kashmir of which 187 will be established by the end of this financial year. ATL is an initiative to boost cognitive development in children where they are given avenues to experiment and widen their understanding of phenomena on scientific ideas.
It was further informed that from 187 of this year’s target, 31 are being established across government schools of the Union territory, whereas 50 will come up in various educational institutions including KVs, JNVs, and private schools. The process for establishing the remaining 106 labs will also be initiated shortly.
The Chief Secretary directed the School Education Department to fix timelines for establishing these laboratories in various districts of the UT and also emphasize on the nomination of trainers/champions against suitable incentives. Besides, the Department was also asked to ensure regular maintenance of infrastructure and equipment of these centres in convergence with other government departments.
Dr Mehta impressed upon the Department to promote scientific temper among the students in areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence by proactively engaging them in various experiments and scientific activities. “These centres should be viewed as innovation hubs to expose the children to scientific experiments, stir innovation in the young minds and encourage them to contribute to the scientific advancement of the nation”, he said.
The School Education Department was further asked to explore industrial linkages which can be created to tap the IT and technical prowess of the younger generation in finding scientific and innovative solutions to existing problems.