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Vice President calls for National Innovation Movement

The Vice President emphasised for stepping up biotechnology interventions to make agriculture more viable and sustainable, he said there was a need for a greater focus on allied sectors

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Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for creating a National Innovation Movement to promote path-breaking ideas and innovations that improve the living conditions of the people and generate wealth.

Speaking after presenting the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards-2019 at a function organised jointly by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) in New Delhi Saturday, Naidu stressed the need to tap the huge talent present in every section of the society across the length and breadth of the country to build a new and inclusive India.

Complimenting the awardees, Vice President urged the young scientists to come up with simple, low-cost but hi-tech innovations to make people’s lives more comfortable and address challenges such as pollution, climate change, diseases, not-so-profitable agriculture, and low-efficiency industrial processes.

Calling for stepping up biotechnology interventions to make agriculture more viable and sustainable, he said there was a need for a greater focus on allied sectors like animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, apart from other vital areas such as health, nutrition, environment and biodiversity conservation.

On the plans to make India a five trillion dollar economy by 2025, Naidu said the engines driving this growth would be start-ups and digitisation. In this context, he suggested that every school and college should set up innovation departments and promote the culture of entrepreneurship.

Citing an example, Vice President referred to the machine invented by Telangana weaver Chintakindi Mallesham, who developed Asu machine, an innovative indigenous device that reduces the drudgery and time taken to weave a saree from about six hours to an hour and half. Mallesham was honoured with Padma Shri for his invention and a film was also made on his journey and achievement.

The Vice President visited the exhibition on innovations of the 21 awardees on the sidelines of the event and spent considerable time enquiring about the utility of their innovations to the common man. His visit to exhibition has filled him with optimism that the country would achieve faster economic development and technological achievement in the near future, he added.

The Vice President said that the Government has identified 117 aspirational districts for their overall transformation and exhorted the young innovators to be part of the mass movement to transform those districts.

Observing that trained and capable youth must become the drivers of innovation in India, the Vice President called for enhancing their skills and encouraging them to explore the unchartered territories. He also called for reorienting education system to foster out-of-box thinking and problem-solving approach.

In this aspect, the Vice President suggested making good use of government schemes such as Digital India and Atal Tinkering Labs was the need of the hour for India to emerge as a global innovation hub.

The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan; Dr. RA Mashelkar, Chairman, BIRAC-SITARE Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) programme; Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Prof. Anil K Gupta, Founder Honey Bee Network, SRISTI, Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN) and National Innovation Foundation (NIF) were among those present.

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