Internet of Things is the way to go for the future: Shekhar Sanyal, IET India Head

Shekhar Sanyal, Director and Country Head, IET India talks about IoT and how it has changed the world around us
Delegates present during the IoT India Congress
Delegates present during the IoT India Congress

With over 1,68,000 members, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) provides a platform for industries, academia and the government to break from their silos and work together. This year's IoT India Congress also witnessed a similar situation with its theme 'Mainstreaming the Internet of Things'. Shekhar Sanyal, Director and Country Head, IET India, says, "Internet of Things is evolving every day and we are all dependent on it to perform all sorts of tasks. From exam preparation for students to bank transactions and online shopping, everything is made easier through IoT. In the coming years, a lot of companies will be investing in this concept to make tasks more simplified." Excerpts from the interview:

1) When Internet of Things already exists in the market, what is the need for mainstreaming it?
The reason behind organising IoT India Congress 2019 is to mainstream the Internet of Things. In the previous editions that we organised, the IoT concept was only discussed and the companies were not investing enough. Now, things have changed as many companies have started investing in IoT. That's why this year, we are highlighting user cases and how IoT is empowering people to do various tasks. At the same time, we are also introducing people to the use of IoT in the future and what it is capable of doing.

2) Does IoT have enough jobs for youngsters?
Yes, absolutely. IoT has enough jobs but only the constituent of the job changes for which people have to upgrade their skills. For example, people still continue to weave clothes by using a spinning wheel. But the person who uses the spinning wheel should upgrade their skills to be able to use a machine as well to tailor clothes. Only then, they will be able to survive in the industry. I think the same applies to the IoT sector too.

IoT expert: Shekhar Sanyal has worked with many famous corporate companies in the market

3) Does IET focus on STEM education in schools?
Yes, we have STEM education modules for school children and our team approaches schools to educate them on this. The method used in teaching varies from the normal method used to teach STEM. For example, while teaching Newton's Laws of Motion, we first teach them to construct a seat belt. Then, we explain the laws accordingly. Instead of explaining the problem, we explain the output, which makes it simplified for children.

4) There is a lot of hype among people to skill Engineering and Management graduates. What about students from Humanities and Arts branches?
According to me, learning job-related skills in any of these education streams is not a big deal. Problem-solving skills, communication skills, team-building and management soft skills are more important. Engineering or Management might teach a particular set of problems which remain static over a period of time. But soft skills help students deal with various problems at any point in time.

5) How many hours do you recommend students to spend to improve their skills?
With this digitisation and automation in technology, one need not attend classes to skill themselves. Everything is available on the mobile at one touch. Hence, there is no particular number that one can think of to spend. I think their mindset has to change as students do only what they are told to do and nothing extra. I recommend self-learning as the only way for students or anyone to skill and invest in oneself. And there is a need for specialisation among students to do multiple jobs and have a broader perspective rather than sticking to only one task. Therefore, students must be motivated to take up self-learning instead of waiting for colleges or organisations to train them.

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