The National Capital is witnessing more than 800 innovations under one roof as students from almost all states and union territories across the country have marched to the city so as to participate in a 2-day 7th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition under INSPIRE Awards – MANAK scheme on February 14 and 15, 2019 at IIT Delhi.
The INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) is a flagship scheme of the Government of India, executed by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF). Aligned with the action plan for "Start-up India" initiative, the scheme aims to help build a critical human resource pool for strengthening, expanding science and technology system and increasing the research and development base on the same by inviting students from all government and private schools throughout the country and enabling them to send their original and creative technological ideas and innovations on the same.
This year 287,994 ideas and innovations have been scouted with participation from all states and UTs of the country. Out of these, 50,279 were provided with a financial support of Rs 10,000 each for developing prototypes. After a series of DLEPC (District Level Exhibition and Project Competition) and subsequent SLEPC (State Level Exhibition and Project Competition) for those qualifying in DLEPC thereby covering more than 45,000 innovations from nearly 650 districts, the stage is now set for NLEPC for those qualified in SLEPC. With the objective of bringing perfection to the prototypes being displayed by students, NIF conducted a series of mentoring workshops for students from 29 states in about two months at premier technological institutions of the country at 16 different locations.
The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK scheme is not just an award, rather it is a complete incubation programme where top ideas and innovations from NLEPC will be taken up for enterprise creation – suitable entrepreneurs will be scouted to take these innovations forward, entities will be incorporated and business operating models will be defined and executed.
NIF, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has been actively engaged in promoting creativity and innovation in the society. NIF has taken major initiatives to serve the knowledge-rich common men of the country. It is committed to make 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.