Dr M J Zarabi, delivers expert talk on semiconductors at NIT Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Dr M J Zarabi, former Chairperson BOG, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar on Thursday delivered an expert talk on ‘The world of semiconductors and India’s Quest’.
The lecture was attended by research scholars from University of Kashmir, CUK, Islamia College, SSM College, Cluster University and other institutions of the Kashmir Valley including bright students from GD Goenka and other schools, besides NIT students. Prior to the lecture, a plantation drive in the medicinal garden was made by the dignitaries.
The event which was in hybrid mode was organized by Prof M A Shah, Former Head, PG Department of Physics and presided over by Prof. A Ravindernath, Director of NIT Srinagar, and Prof. Sheikh Gulam Mohammed, Director North Campus University of Kashmir was the Guest of Honor.
The event was graced by Dean Academic Affairs Dr. Mohammad Shafi Mir, Prof. (Dr.) M.F Wani, Prof. Kowsar Majid and other dignitaries from Higher and School Education.
In his address, Prof. A Ravindernath highlighted that the Government of India has declared semiconductor technology a core area to advance the Atma Nirbhar Bharat mission, reducing reliance on foreign countries for semiconductor products.
He noted that the government has also established the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) to address the global semiconductor shortage and encourage manufacturers to set up semiconductor facilities in India.
“Whatever the emerging technologies are, we must adapt them for the benefit of humankind,” he said. “Let us pledge to make India a developed nation by 2027 as Viksit Bharat,” Director added.
On the occasion, Dr. MJ Zarabi remarked that semiconductor manufacturing on an international scale is exceptionally expensive and faces numerous challenges.
“Despite a promising start, India allowed itself to be left out of the semiconductor revolution of the 1980s, while Taiwan and China raced ahead, mainly due to government apathy and a lack of vision at the highest levels of planning,” he said.
Dr. Zarabi further said that since the mid-1980s, the country has settled into the role of becoming the semiconductor design backroom for many major international semiconductor companies, but it has not become a semiconductor manufacturing powerhouse.
“Today, India is home to nearly 20% of the world’s semiconductor design engineers. While the competence of Indian engineers is well recognized, most have so far been employed only in parts of the design process, such as verification and layout,” he said.
Dr. Zarabi said that many local semiconductors design companies have also relied heavily on outsourced business from international companies. However, this trend has started to change recently, with a few local companies now engaged in designing their own products,” he added.
About the scope of semiconductors in J&K, Dr. Zarabi said that participation in semiconductor product design and system-level product design by entrepreneurs in J&K is highly recommended.
“The GOI’s Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme can be leveraged in this regard. Promoting designs based on India’s own RISC-V based processor, such as IIT Madras’s Shakti, would also be beneficial,” he added.
Dr. Zarabi further said that the J & K government should consider setting up a high-powered task force involving state officials, industry professionals, academia, and representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to ensure significant participation of the state in this important endeavour.
Earlier, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Mohammad Shafi Mir, briefed the audience on the extensive academic career of Dr. MJ Zarabi. He highlighted Dr. Zarabi’s significant contributions to the field of semiconductors and his impactful projects in microelectronics.
On the occasion, Prof. M.A. Shah during his formal welcome address thanked Dr. MJ Zarabi for accepting our request and for enlightening the students about the history of semiconductors and India’s role in the field. He expressed gratitude to Director NIT Srinagar Prof Ravinder Nath and other dignitaries for gracing the occasion.
“Unless we burn the midnight oil, nothing is going to happen. These new fields, including AI, machine learning, and nanotechnology, require intense study,” he said.
Prof. Shah also advised teachers to passionately and seriously teach semiconductor topics in 12th grade to ensure students understand the material and message.
A formal vote of thanks was presented by Dr.Saad Parvez Head, IIEDC. He expressed gratitude to Director NIT Srinagar, resource person and other dignitaries for attending the event on short notice.
“This lecture acted as a launching pad for the students and scholars, who want to take semiconductors and chip designs as their future careers. Such expert talks are the need of the hour,” Dr. Saad said.
Mr. Zahid, Mr Roshan, Miss Nowsheen, Mr. Abrar, Mr Aman, Mr. Khurshid, Mr Faizan and other students coordinated the program, while Miss Nahida conducted the proceedings of the event.
There was a scholarly interview of Dr. M J Zarabi regarding the initiatives of the country for Semiconductors by Miss Inbasat Yousf and Mr Irfan Ahmad in the Institutes’ Committee room.
The infrastructure support was provided by Er Junaid Ahmad and his team including Mr. Saddam and Mr Ishtiyaq.

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