The government on Saturday launched Digital India futureLABS to strengthen research and development (R&D) and innovation in areas such as automotive, computing, communication, strategic electronics, industrial electronics and internet-of-things in the country.
The futureLABS will serve as a platform for partnerships and strategic direction in these areas, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said at its launch.
Funding for the platform will come from the R&D budget of the electronics and IT ministry (MeitY) and those of various other labs “and the larger Rs 1 lakh crore that the government of India has provided”, Chandrasekhar said.
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in India (C-DAC) will be the nodal agency to develop the overall plan, standard operating procedures and guidelines for startups and other private sector companies working in this space, MeitY said in a statement.
In the automotive space, the platform will focus on R&D and industry-government collaboration to develop electric vehicles, onboard sensors, and autonomous connected devices. For computing, the focus shall be on R&D in high-performance, quantum, and exascale computers, indigenous microprocessors, accelerators, and blockchain, among others, it said.
“Funding for startups which are involved in the FutureLABS innovation ecosystem can come in many different ways, including the funds allocated by the central government as a part of its budget for R&D,” Chandrasekhar said.
The minister refused to comment on the RBI crackdown against Paytm directly, but said that being a fintech or a tech company did not absolve or put any company above the sectoral regulator, which in this case is the Reserve Bank of India.