IIT-D launches “civic solutions” lab

PSL, set up in partnership with UNWFP, will help public systems better performance.

The lab is expected to function as a multi-stakeholder-engaging entity.
The lab is expected to function as a multi-stakeholder-engaging entity.

By Anvitii Rai

The Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi’s (IIT-D’s) Foundation for Innovation and Technology (FITT) on Tuesday launched its Public Systems Lab (PSL) to develop scalable solutions for civic systems and services that impact millions, in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP).

The PSL will help public systems enhance performance and thereby ensure fundamental levels of well-being for communities these systems serve, by harnessing data science, smart manufacturing, economics, and research in all relevant branches of knowledge.

Inaugurating the lab, Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal said, “This lab can be an absolute game changer and what better day to launch this lab in IIT-Delhi than the first day when the nation enters the Amrit Kal?”

The lab is expected to function as a multi-stakeholder-engaging entity, collaborating with governments, the private sector, and multilateral organisations to develop sustainable solutions in domains such as food, public transportation and health.

The lab is looking to expand its list of partners, says professor Nomesh Bolia of IIT-D’s mechanical engineering department, who is billed to lead the lab. “PSL is also ready to provide technical support to entrepreneurs who are inspired by the lab’s work and bring suitable ideas as well as reach out to people who can financially support the same,” Bolia says.

There are many ongoing projects under the PSL’s belt, such as the Bus Operation Toolkit for Bengaluru, which optimises bus scheduling, and the SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) dashboard for Rajasthan. “The bus toolkit is scalable to every big city,” he says, “as is the dashboard”.

PSL is in talks with key-supply chain players (that can influence the SDG-2 outcomes) in a few other states.

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