Asia Pacific Education Program Manager, Bhupesh Lall, filed this report on Autodesk's work with India on India's National Design Policy.
On the 8th of February 2007 the Union Cabinet of India approved a National Design Policy. This policy is the direct result of a government decision to roll out a design policy in their 2004 document. The process was driven by NID and its Director, Dr Koshy, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The policy reflects a balanced vision that envisages the national preparation of a platform for creative design development, design promotion and partnerships across many sectors, states, and regions. The aim is to integrate design with traditional and technological resources; the creation of a platform for the presentation of Indian design and innovation on the international arena (through strategic integration and cooperation with international design organizations) and raising Indian design education to global standards of excellence. This last factor is embroidered upon through an extensive action plan to upgrade design education in institutions such as NID (e.g. giving it University status) and to set up an India Design Council. Thereby the stage is set for India to become a global leader in the field of design.
Some key excerpts from the policy paper include:
In a globalizing economy, design is being perceived as a new engine of economic and industrial growth. Design and breakthrough innovations can play a pivotal role in positioning of Indian industries in the global arena apart from enhancing competitiveness.
Thrust Areas for India: design education
In support of this design policy, Dr. Koshy has written a white paper that has been well received by the government. It proposes a multiple tiered approach towards promoting design education in the country:
- Tier 1 institutions: should necessarily have a separate "Design School"
- Second tier institutions : will choose either a product design stream of communication design stream as per the context of the institution at an undergraduate level
- Third tier: would be information, communication technology institutes like the IIITs or other such institutes encompassing design for information societies. These courses to be focused on "cognitive ergonomics" and "experience creation technologies"
- Fourth tier program will be offering at least two courses in the later semesters in every engineering program called "Design Fundamentals" and "Design Methods and Processes"
- (Fifth tier would be introducing design as part of curriculum at the high school level (i.e., standards 10-12th))
In keeping, thus, with the direction of the National Design Policy supporting the aggressive promotion of design education in India as a means to achieve national and international competitive excellence, Autodesk and NID have established a joint partnership towards the establishment of an Endowed Chair and the creation of a Center of Excellence for Innovative Design. Autodesk has provided the National Institute of Design with a grant of USD 250K (Rs. 10 million, also popularly referred to as Rs. 1 "crore") which includes sponsorship of the Research Chair for an initial period of 2 years, research projects, shared cost of setting up the Centre of Excellence and the cost of Autodesk software donated to the Institute.
The Research Chair is focused on developing innovative design curriculum and pedagogy to be offered across the multiple tiers of India’s education fabric for the spread of quality design education. The chair would also assist students and faculty to conduct advanced research in areas that are of mutual interest to Autodesk and NID such as "next design directions" and advanced design education.
Autodesk’s Centre of Excellence initiative comprises 3 state-of-the-art design labs at NID’s - Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Bangalore campus placing the Chair to straddle the three campus by working closely with Faculty and Students to innovate design curriculum & pedagogy. All campuses would be equipped with the latest versions of Autodesk’s design software such as Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical and ALIAS Design tools.