India’s 6G Vision: Transforming Higher Education Curriculum
India is actively positioning itself at the forefront of 6G technology. Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi unveiled the Bharat 6G vision document on March 22, marking a significant step toward the development of 6G services in the country. it is certain that 5G/6G, SatCom, and Semiconductors to add $240 billion to India’s economy in the next 5 years, as per KPMG Report in India in association with the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 which makes it more viable for the India to be aggressive towards 6G implementation for growth and development.
The 6G vision is based on recommendations from the Technology Innovation Group (TIG) and six task forces focused on exploring key aspects of 6G development, creating a roadmap and action plans for its implementation.
To address the evolving trends and challenges presented by 6G and harness the full potential of 5G features, our upcoming researchers and engineers need to possess the requisite skills and mindset. Attaining the goals of 6G communications necessitates a consensus on emerging concepts and enabling technologies. Consequently, updating and adapting undergraduate and graduate education in communications engineering to the demands of the pre-6G era becomes crucial. The India Mobile Congress 2023 emphasized India’s determination to lead the world in 6G technology. Additionally, it was noted that achieving this goal requires updating and adapting education in communications engineering to meet the demands of the pre-6G era.
What Actions Need to be Taken?
Active participation in the research and development of 6G has the potential to position India as a leader in advanced telecommunication technologies. This not only enhances our global competitiveness but also attracts investments, fosters indigenous innovation, and drives technology-led economic growth. A key objective of the Government of India is to secure a 4% share of global patents filed and granted.
- To address these needs, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) formed a committee to review telecom-related topics in the curriculum of communications engineering.
- The committee has identified potential research topics for PhD programs, taking into account the requirements of 6G across various areas such as optical communications, satellite communications, broadcasting, RF engineering, telecom standardization, IPR, and more. The report of the committee is attached.
- The higher educational institutions are requested to examine the report and make suitable upgrades to the M.Tech. and Ph.D. programs.
The Importance of Research and Development (R&D) in Education
To achieve the goals of 6G communications, researchers have reached a preliminary consensus of emerging conceptions and enabling technologies for 6G communications. The major key technologies/ areas identified in 6G Vision report for realization of beyond 5G (B5G) and 6G communication are as follows:
- Intelligent Reflective Surfaces/ Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces
- Quantum Communication/ Quantum Machine Learning (QML)
- Immersive XR
- Cell free Massive MIMO
- Advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML) (case
- Advanced Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) like blockchain etc.
- Wireless Fiber (Wireless Optical Communication)
- And several other critical technologies are included.
Research across a diverse range of topics is poised to pave the way for the future roadmap of 6G technology in India. Higher education institutions must take the initiative to formulate a curriculum that aligns with these emerging technologies, fostering a proactive approach among students and scholars to spearhead research in these areas. The implications of 6G are set to revolutionize various existing sectors and create new opportunities for emerging Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and small businesses.