Engineering students in India will be able to learn and train themselves in virtual reality (VR), the next frontier in the emerging technology space, at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, starting next year. The premier institute and Japanese firm Monolith have joined hands to launch an advanced diploma programme on VR for the first time in India. The course will be available both online and offline. For those unaware, VR is a computer-generated environment that appears to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings.
The objective behind launching the course is to skill individuals in a new technology to build capacity and serve the needs of the industry.
There is a growing need for highly skilled professionals in VR, augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), and haptics technology, IIT Madras said in a statement. The first batch will commence in January 2022, and students can apply for the programme starting November.
Fifty students will be admitted to the course annually, the institution said. Anyone with an engineering programme, including students currently enrolled in engineering degrees anywhere in India, can apply for it. Those who want to upskill themselves can also apply. There is a growing demand for professionals skilled in VR in IT companies, animation industries, architecture, engineering, healthcare, and media production.
“Virtual reality is inherently a practical and an interdisciplinary course. Offering such an experiential and interdisciplinary course online is quite challenging. Both IIT Madras and Monolith have taken this as a challenge to offer this course for the first time in India,” said Prof. M. Manivannan, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras.
IIT Madras and Japan’s Monolith Research and Training Labs recently signed an MoU for this collaboration. The Centre of Excellence on Virtual Reality and Haptics will coordinate the course.
Yathirajan Varadharajan, director of Monolith, said, “Experiential and immersive technology is rapidly developing and transforming key industries, from architecture and engineering to healthcare and media production.” Varadharajan added that various studies and research papers on immersive technology suggest that it has the potential to boost the global economy by $1.5 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,12,37,625 crore) by adding 23 million jobs. This includes enhancing the existing jobs by 2030 or creating new jobs.