Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, gave away the 10th Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards 2017 to 56 creative and innovative students at National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The competition is organised every year by NIF, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. An exhibition to showcase all award-winning ideas by young, creative minds of this nation was also organised.
This year, students from 16 States were awarded for their ideas and innovations. Overall, more than 65,000 submissions were received from 576 districts of the country. (To see the list of winners, click here).
Speaking on the occasion, the former President urged that we should introduce lessons in the text books based on the ideas of such creative children in different classes. Our children should start thinking of scouting the unmet social needs and addressing them through social innovations at an early stage. He further said that we should also share the ideas about risk taking, developing entrepreneurial ideas for social, economic and cultural entrepreneurship. They should get a chance to interact with some such children whose ideas have been appreciated by the country wherever possible. Children must be encouraged to think originally about inclusive development of the country.
The former President expressed his happiness on the current thrust of the Government of India to promote entrepreneurship at all levels in the society through a very vigorous start-up movement in India. He observed, INSPIRE-MANAK scheme of Department of Science and Technology is a unique effort in which NIF is processing a million creative ideas- two ideas each from around half a million schools- all over the country. After filtering them at different levels, NIF will take them to the top level for recognition by the President of India.
OP Kohli, Governor of Gujarat on the occasion, made an appeal to the parents and teachers of the IGNITE award winners and others children that they should not try to fulfil their incomplete dream through their children and let children fulfil their own dreams. He added, the children from privileged background must be encouraged to connect with their less privileged brothers and sisters so that they develop a collegial attitude, and become inclusive in their personality.
Dr RA Mashelkar, Chairperson NIF, said that India is seen as an innovation nation and it took some giant strides during the presidency of Pranab Mukherjee to reinforce its commitment towards innovation.
Prof Anil K Gupta, Executive Vice-Chairperson, NIF observed that children by nature are impatient towards problems, and it is this impatience, which become a driver for their Innovations. He also mentioned about the outstanding support extended by Presidents’ Secretariat of India in promoting Innovation in the country.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2017 competition, a national competition of original technological ideas and innovations by children up to class 12 or those out of school up to the age of 17 years, is organised by National Innovation Foundation - India (NIF) every year to promote creativity and originality among children. The awards of IGNITE competition are announced every year on October 15th, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday, which is celebrated as the Children’s Creativity and Innovation Day by NIF.
The IGNITE competition is being organised in association with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Honey Bee Network, and other partners. A number of other State Educational Boards such as Board of School Education Haryana; Nagaland Board of School Education; Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh; West Bengal Board of Secondary Education; Lok Sikshan Sanchalanalaya, Madhya Pradesh; Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, Dept. of School Education, Govt. of Chhattisgarh and Mizoram Board of School Education also actively promoted the IGNITE campaign.
NIF, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has actively been engaged in promoting creativity and innovation in the society with active support of Honey Bee Network. NIF has taken major initiatives to serve the knowledge-rich but economically poor people of the country. It has been working on making India innovative by documenting, adding value, protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the contemporary unaided technological innovators as well as of outstanding traditional knowledge-holders and disseminating their innovations on commercial and non-commercial basis.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Award is an effort to focus primarily on the creativity of the children and promote inclusive and compassionate thinking among them.