Indian Institute of Technology (Guwahati), Oil India Collaborate to Develop Tech in Energy Sector – OpenGov Asia

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The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-Guwahati) and government-owned hydrocarbon exploration and production corporation, Oil India, have announced they will collaborate to develop and introduce modern technologies in energy and related sectors. The partnership will also focus on cooperation in the transfer of existing technologies, knowledge up-gradation and innovation partnerships, training and skill development, and other areas of mutual agreement, according to a statement by the Institute.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to seal the agreement. The MoU will facilitate a new path to explore numerous opportunities in applied and translational research for the sustainable energy sector. IIT-Guwahati is among the few top institutions in India that are dedicated to developing state-of-the-art technologies and a skilled workforce in the field of petroleum and its allied industries, an official from IIT-Guwahati claimed. He said oil and gas industries would benefit as the partnership will lead to the development of indigenous technologies.
The statement added that collaborations between industry and academia are mutually beneficial. It provides the industry work-ready talent with specialised knowledge and practical training. Academia benefits by having opportunities to work on relevant technologies and challenging problems. A representative from Oil India noted that the organisation looks forward to more collaborations with IIT-Guwahati and the current initiative can enhance the efficiency of the industry and contribute to greater profitability.
The Oil India engineering service group constitutes core engineering departments, including electrical, civil, field engineering, instrumentation, field communication, information technology and logistics. The group makes various essential engineering services available to core areas like exploration, drilling, the production of crude oil and natural gas, the transportation of crude oil, and the production of LPG to the company’s other businesses.
Over the last seven years, India’s installed solar energy capacity has increased 17 times. The country represents 17% of the global population but its historical cumulative emissions are only 4%, while current annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are only about 5%. India added 1,522 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy (RE) capacity in October, which took the total installed RE capacity to 103.05 gigawatts (GW) as of 31 October, according to the monthly cabinet brief issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This included 47.66 GW of solar, 39.99 GW of wind, 10.58 GW of biopower, and 4.82 GW of small-hydro capacity.
As per a news report, according to the October brief, projects of 50.98 GW capacity were at various stages of implementation while projects of 32.06 GW capacity were under various stages of bidding. The ministry note added that award letters were issued on 4 October to set up an aggregate capacity of 5,000 MW solar power plants using domestically manufactured solar PV cells and solar modules. India had set a target of 175 GW capacity by 2022, which would include 100 GW of solar energy, 60 GW of wind energy, 10 GW of small-hydro power, and 5 GW of biomass-based power projects. However, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently raised the nationally determined contribution target of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 from 450 GW at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
Singapore’s public libraries have been adopting data analytics and AI to develop more immersive and personalised visitor experiences. They have also introduced robots and automation to simplify and shrink the workload of librarians. The traditional storytelling experience has been given a twist with new technology. Some libraries are now equipped with a special room to offer a more immersive experience through videos and sensors.
Projectors display immersive videos on the walls of the room while children listen to stories inside. When a tiger is mentioned, for example, it can appear on the walls and let out a loud roar. The immersive experience is controlled through sensors that detect the storyteller’s hand gestures. The device enables users to control the video game console through simple gestures. A national competition among Singaporean schools is organised annually to encourage students to create new content for these immersive experiences. This gives the organisation enough content until the same competition the following year.
AI is helping to personalise the library visitor experience by recommending content that users may be interested in. AI and data analytics will direct users to content relevant to their interests. The organisation uses data analytics to plan the locations of new libraries. When library members share their address, the organisation uses this information to see how far they must travel to reach the library, identifying areas where new libraries should be built. This data also looks at whether members are travelling past their nearest library to reach a specific branch.
– Ramachandran Narayanan, Director and Deputy CIO, National Library Board, Singapore
NLB branches are using autonomous robots to assist visitors and staff members, Narayanan highlights. Shelf reading robots identify books that have been moved to the wrong shelf, helping visitors to find the specific book they are looking for. The robot patrols the library with a radio frequency scanner that detects the small tags placed in each book.
The tech highlights books that are far away from their designated shelf so that staff members can return them to their rightful place. Without robots, the process of identifying and then moving these incorrectly placed books takes staff three to four hours every morning. It has saved each library 3,500 manpower hours per year.
Automation also helps to sort books once they’ve been returned at a book drop. An automated conveyor belt system scans the radio tags in each book and separates them based on their genre. Staff can customise the automated system to separate books that are identified as particularly relevant or popular. This helps them to place this selection at the front of the library where visitors can easily find them.
The sorting process was done entirely manually before the library adopted these automation tools. Where staff previously had to separate each book according to genre and popularity, they are no longer needed in the sorting process at all, Narayanan shares. Books will always be a timeless resource, but libraries are modernising to provide new ways for visitors to learn and have fun. They can do this while adopting automation to reduce the manual workload faced by librarians.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, The Ministry of Communications and Information has made building an inclusive digital society one of their main priorities for 2021. Their aim is to ensure that ‘all Singaporeans can reap the benefits of digitalisation.’
In order to reach this goal, NLB is transforming libraries into hubs for digital learning. The Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025 (LAB25) looks at how NLB’s roles and priorities will evolve from 2021 to 2025, in response to social, economic and technological changes.
Vietnam has announced that this year, it plans to focus on the development of 6G, the sixth-generation standard currently under development for wireless communications technologies. The Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, made the announcement at a conference in Hanoi held earlier this month. He stated that it is time the country gets ahead of the development curve and strengthens its digital infrastructure with an emphasis on cloud computing, digital platforms, and software services.
A report stated that the digital economy is growing at a pace of US$136 billion a year with more than 64,000 firms. The Vietnamese government is pushing for the rapid development of its digital infrastructure and technologies in a bid to become one of the world’s leading nations in digitalisation. It aims to boost the development of 6G technology and meet the demand for skilled workers in the field. The Minister highlighted the importance of developing Vietnam’s capacity for cloud computing and digital platforms, two of the fastest-growing fields with an annual growth rate of 15-20%. According to the Ministry’s estimate, the market for cloud computing and digital platforms will have met or even surpass that of telecommunications, which has reached a market saturation point. Additionally, the telecommunication sector must address a series of long-time issues such as spam and rampant advert text messages before it can further develop into a productive segment of the digital economy.
The Minister added that digital infrastructure is among the government’s top priorities. It has set a target to be among the top 30 nations with the most advanced and robust digital infrastructure by 2025. He said to realise these targets, the telecommunication sector must start now to get ahead of the competition to develop 6G technologies and hardware as well as to build the country’s 5G network. He urged domestic firms to invest in the development and production of 5G and 6G hardware and promised that the government would provide them with additional support.
MIC has also made extensive plans for the commercialisation of 5G technology. At the beginning of the month, OpenGov Asia reported that MIC had identified 5G services provisions in 2022 through indigenously-developed devices as a core government mission. Due to infrastructure limits, however, the target is just to offer these services to 25% of the national population in 2025. 4G networks cover 99.8% of the nation and 5G technology has been successfully piloted by three major carriers: state-run group Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone in 16 cities and provinces. Authorities have claimed that the country is now technically ready for the official commercialisation of 5G services.
MIC said that domestic 5G equipment now ranges from the core, transmission, and access networks. They have been effectively exploited in the piloting schemes. Vietnam has finished installing 5G stations using open radio access network (ORAN) technology with download and upload speeds of 900Mbps and 60Mbps, respectively. This is a major improvement to boost 5G device research and manufacturing in Vietnam to serve commercialization tasks in 2022. Nevertheless, major Vietnamese carriers are still reluctant since the low demands of 5G services from domestic users cannot compensate for their large investment amount. Furthermore, as there is no specific data package during the piloting time, it is not easy for mobile network providers to accurately evaluate real market demands.
MIC suggested that the three major carriers should each cover 25% of the national surface area and allow customers to use their own facilities to reduce investment costs. This will result in full coverage of 5G technology nationwide in just one year. In their piloting periods for 5G technology, Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone adopted this practice. Therefore, if all agree, this solution to formally commercialise 5G is feasible, with thousands of new shared base transceiver stations (BTS) installed throughout the country.
A tech company operating under the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab has launched a new solution that is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Digital communication solution
Solution description
The company’s digital communication solutions are ideal for hosting successful virtual or hybrid events. Their virtual event experiences are the right choice for global brands, medium-sized businesses looking to attract customers across all boards, non-profit organizations wanting to connect their backers or event institutes. The solutions are designed for simplicity and performance – the solutions are browser-based, easily accessible, and available on-demand.
The solution provides an online space for engaging online event experiences for large audiences; it enables:
Application Areas
The solution was designed to be applied in the areas of Broadcasting, City Management, Climate and Weather, Commerce and Industry, Development, Education, Employment and Labour, Environment, Finance, Food, Health, Housing, Infrastructure, Law and Security, Population, Recreation and Culture, Social Welfare, Transport as well as Virtual Event Platform.
Technologies Used
The solution employs the latest in Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Mixed Reality, Mobile Technologies, Virtual Reality and Virtual Event Platforms.
Use case
The solution enables users to create customisable digital events through a sophisticated online solution set within an intuitive point-and-click interface for large-scale events such as virtual trade shows, congresses, exhibitions, career fairs, and more.
Experts guide users’ planning process and create the ultimate virtual event experience for audiences free of exhausting video calls and online streaming platforms with limited customisation options. The available virtual environments elevate content presentation through innovative design.
The solution is equipped with managed service that covers project management, design customization, and webcast streaming, fully customisable large-scale digital events for up to 50,000 simultaneous participants, auditoriums with live presentations, real-time polling, and Q&As, virtual exposition halls with branding opportunities and interactive booths for exhibitors as well as networking and interaction.
Market-proven communication tools are also available to support interactive communication and networking between digital event participants. The solution also has private chat rooms and public group chats, private video calls (with up to 5 participants), open video conferencing lounges, real-time polls and Q&As as well as a virtual event platform with breakout rooms.
Customer relationships can be strengthened and new leads can be generated. Exhibitors can use their virtual booth within the exposition area to build a rapport with visitors using personal avatars of booth staff members. Digital avatars can be based on individual images or clips of real people and are great for interpersonal communication.
Users can inform visitors and showcase products or content in various ways including via a video screen at the booth, within a multimedia library, or with a detailed 3D product viewer. Booth interactions such as chats and video calls help successfully generate leads and can be used to direct visitors towards specific booth content and media.
All user behaviour, booth content downloads, and general statistics of the trade show can be evaluated in real-time and after the virtual event has ended. Individual reports make it easy to analyse and process contacts for lead generation and ABC lead scoring.
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur (IIT-Jodhpur) have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model that can detect COVID-19 by examining the chest X-ray of patients, the institute has said in a statement. The team proposed a deep learning-based algorithm called COMiT-Net, which learns the abnormalities present in the chest X-ray images to differentiate between an affected lung and a non-affected lung. It can also identify infected regions of the lungs.
According to a statement by the institute, the AI-based solution is an alternative to the regular RT PCR tests conducted across the world and can help ease the growing pressure on governments to procure testing kits and set up processing centres. Researchers from the institute have proposed a deep learning-based algorithm, COMiT-Net, which learns the abnormalities present in the chest X-ray images to differentiate between a COVID-19 affected lung and a non-COVID affected lung.
The experiment was performed with more than 2,500 chest X-ray images and achieved about 96.80% sensitivity. The number of COVID-19 cases around the globe has been increasing as well as the number of challenges that countries are facing. The limited availability of testing kits and processing centres in remote areas has been the key motivation for researchers to find alternate testing methods that are reliable, easily accessible, and faster.
Since the symptoms of the virus are visible on chest X-rays, it has become one of the modalities that have gained acceptance as a screening technique. While there have been numerous research studies in COVID-19 detection using X-ray or CT scans in the past couple of years, most of them fail to provide an explainable solution, the institute claimed. As per a report by The Times of India, the AI solution is explainable from both algorithmic and medical points of view. The team has detailed the technique in a research paper published in the journal Pattern Recognition (Volume 122). The researchers aim to develop a full-scale prototype.
AI is not just a critical part of healthcare services today but of almost every sector of the economy. India is investing and deploying initiatives in AI to increase the level of digital literacy in the country’s workforce. Earlier this month, OpenGov Asia reported that the Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and four Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) created and launched an online course on applied AI. It contains 33-sessions that will cover how to implement AI-based solutions in domains like healthcare and smart city projects, as well as how to scale these projects to an industrial level. The four partnering IITs are from four different locations: Kharagpur, Madras, Palakkad, Goa.
The curriculum will include the fundamentals of AI accelerators and system setup, accelerated deep learning, end-to-end accelerated deep science, and will explore industrial use-cases of accelerated AI. It is aimed at learners with at least a basic knowledge of machine learning; students in their final year of Engineering, science postgraduates, PhD scholars, and professionals. Several leading national institutions will intermittently participate in the course. For instance, learners will have code walkthroughs and industrial case studies that are part of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
India’s cybersecurity industry nearly doubled in size amid the pandemic, with revenues from cybersecurity products and services growing from US$5.04 billion in 2019 to US$9.85 billion in 2021. According to data by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), the growth was largely fueled by rapid digitalisation, increased regulatory attention on data and privacy, and growing boardroom awareness around cyber threats. Further, India’s cybersecurity workforce increased from 110,000 employees in 2019 to 218,000 in 2021.
DSCI is a data protection industry body set up by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). DSCI noted that it is not just large suppliers that are driving the industry’s growth momentum. The country’s cybersecurity startup and product industry also saw robust growth, raking in revenues worth US$ 1.37 billion. As a stronghold for IT services, India’s cybersecurity market is dominated by security services where services companies are leveraging their global expertise and experience in offering transformational and platform-based services, a report stated. From consultation to implementation and the management of security controls and frameworks, services companies have imbibed security from DevOps, ensuring their clients and end-user data and privacy are protected. They have also expanded their international presence and set up security operations centres, cyber defence centres, and research and development centres across the globe, the report added.
DSCI said that global customers account for 80-85% of security services revenue with Europe and the US being the most lucrative markets, due to stringent regulation, higher security awareness levels, and bigger cybersecurity budgets. Additionally, the two markets have more legacy technology being revamped and upscaled, driving more spending primarily in banking, manufacturing, energy, travel, and transportation. An industry expert explained that there has been tremendous growth in the services industry in terms of people, process, and technology. The models of delivering services are advancing, creating platforms and assets that can automate certain portions of service delivery, which reduces the number of people required to engage in repetitive non-value-adding work.
India’s cybersecurity product companies are also quickly growing through a network of channel partners, with the emergence of cloud-based delivery models further boosting their business in international markets, DSCI noted. The Asia-Pacific region, including India, accounted for 58% of the overall revenue generated in cybersecurity products while the demand from North America was robust during the pandemic, almost doubling from 2020. Business continuity, remote working, growing awareness around the threat landscape, and maintaining brand image are some of the key drivers leading the rise in demand for India’s cybersecurity products.
A representative from NASSCOM said that cybersecurity is now a boardroom agenda and offers tremendous opportunities for India’s tech industry to build innovative solutions and services. With enabling policies, an expanding skilled talent pool, domain expertise, and a connected ecosystem with start-ups and academia, the country is rapidly expanding its cybersecurity capabilities and emerging as a hub for all things digital with security and trust as its foundation.
A multinational information technology consulting and systems integration company has won a five-year contract with Energy Queensland (EQL) to supply its operational technology hardware, software and specialised services. The new contract comprises a collection of technologies, including the company’s MD series remote telemetry units (RTUs) and proprietary browser-based human-machine interface (HMI), enabling management capabilities in a substation or an asset.
The use of the tech firm’s substation management system will support the reliable delivery of energy for EQL’s customers across Queensland, whilst helping meet the challenges introduced by distributed energy resources (such as wind and solar) as they play an increasing role in the energy mix. The newly released modular RTU supports a broad range of EQL’s use cases and provides flexible configurations that can be tailored to the specific operational requirements of the distributed control system.
The President of the tech company’s UK and Australia base stated that they are delighted that Energy Queensland has chosen their MD Series RTUs and substation automation capabilities as one of the foundations for its delivery of safe and reliable energy to homes and businesses across the entire state of Queensland. The company looks forward to continuing to partner with Energy Queensland in future projects, particularly in support of the challenges associated with the energy transition over the next decade and more.
The Substation Automation Market is expected to reach US$51 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 5.8% over the forecast period, 2021-2026. With the widening of the supply and demand gap, power management has become one of the most critical areas of concern worldwide. Energy consumption is increasing at one of the fastest rates globally; hence, the requirement of substation automation systems in the present-day substations to efficiently control and deliver power is highly sought out.
Substation automation provides protection, control, automation, monitoring, and communication capabilities as a part of comprehensive substation control and monitoring solution. Today, substation layout is much cleaner where one can probably eliminate entire writing racks, and cabinets or make it much smaller depending on how users are handling their I/Os to the IEDs (intelligent electronic devices). High-speed microprocessor-based remote terminal units or intelligent electronic devices are used for substation automation and protection.
The migration toward the future transmission and distribution substation is taking place because of the desire to bring more automation and intelligence to the power grid network to address a myriad of utility concerns such as how to reduce operational expenses to ways to meet new regulatory requirements, such as NERC-CIP (North American Electric Reliability Corporation-Critical Infrastructure Protection).
The smart electric substation role in smart cities has become more important than the traditional one. The key benefits derived out of substation automation are increased reliability, early detection of faults and quick diagnosis, improved worker safety, and enhanced utilization in the smart city infrastructure.
The increasing demand for efficient transmission of electricity, reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers drive the growth of smart grids in the market. Additionally, the increasing integration of large-scale renewable energy systems and improved security among others are fuelling the growth of smart grids in substation automation.
Smart grid communication technology provides predictive data and recommendations to the utilities, their suppliers, and their customers on how best to manage power. Moreover, smart grids are being deployed by applying modern technologies in substations and power networks.
The Indian Navy plans to launch major projects that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Along with the centres of excellence, the Navy has organised seminars and workshops with academics and experts for its personnel, focussing on capacity building. An official stated that the Navy is progressing around 30 AI projects that encompass autonomous systems, language translation, predictive maintenance, inventory management, text mining, perimeter security, maritime domain awareness, and decision making. The AI initiatives are envisaged to have both tactical and strategic level impacts.
From 19 to 22 January, INS Valsura, the Indian Navy’s premier technical institute, organised a workshop, “Leveraging AI for Indian Navy”. Representatives from leading tech giants shared insights from the industry during the event. Academicians from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (IIT-Delhi), the New York University, the Amrita University, and the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT) spoke about AI applications. According to a news report, the keynote address of the workshop was delivered by the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Southern Naval Command. During his speech, he emphasised the importance of AI technology and its application in the activities of the Navy. The webinar was attended by over 500 participants from across the country. The Navy looks forward to unifying and reorganising its enterprise data, as data is the soul of all AI-based projects, the report added.
Regarding their upcoming venture, in a statement, the Indian Navy announced they are currently in the process of creating a centre of excellence (CoE) in AI at INS Vasura. Located at Jamnagar, INS Valsura has already been designated as the CoE in the field of big data and a state-of-the-art lab on AI and Big Data Analysis (BDA) was set up in January 2020. The Navy has formed an AI core group, which meets twice a year for all initiatives related to AI and ML. It conducts periodic reviews of AI projects to ensure adherence to the promulgated timelines. The Navy also conducts training in AI/ ML across all levels of speciality for its officers and sailors.
The training is held both within the Navy’s own training schools as well as renowned IITs. Navy personnel has undergone a variety of AI-linked courses over the last three years. These initiatives are in line with the government’s aim to make India a global leader in AI, ensuring responsible and transformational AI for all.
With government initiatives such as Digital India, AI has gotten a significant boost over the last few years. The government is using AI widely to manage traffic flows, improve their digital exchange systems, and improve criminal investigations. In the industry, AI is being deployed for several operations like inventory tracking and management, data sharing and perception, enhanced customer experience, improved hiring processes, data mining, and optimisation for businesses. The AI market in India is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2% and reach US$7.8 billion in total revenues by 2025.

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