President of India presents Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards to the winning children of IGNITE competition organized by the National Innovation Foundation today (November 7, 2016) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was told that for the IGNITE Awards this year, there were over 55,000 applicants from 458 districts of the country. For the awardees, it must be a very special feeling to be one among the chosen few. However, those not in the list must not lose heart. What matters most is to make the pool of ideas rich, diverse and fertile. No one can say when any such idea can make a significant difference to our society.
The President complimented National Innovation Foundation (NIF) for successfully identifying, recognizing and nurturing the young talent, including those from the rural, tribal and other far flung areas. He said that the plans of Department of Science and Technology to partner with NIF in INSPIRE MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) scheme would boost the IGNITE model developed by NIF and Honey Bee Network in the last decade.
The President said that there is a need to create an innovation eco-system in our country. The Atal Innovation Mission is a very important initiative of the government aimed at promoting innovations and start-ups all over the country. The idea of unleashing the creativity of children is a valuable step in that direction. Tinkering labs being set up in schools are going to add renewed energy to the restless young minds. He called upon educationists, corporate and community leaders to explore ways of extending recognition to creative and innovative children and other such minds. He stated that he was sure that the collective efforts would have far-reaching effect on the inclusive innovation eco-system of the country. He had been urging higher educational institutions to set up innovation clubs to search, spread, celebrate innovations and sense the unmet social needs. There are innovation clubs in 86 central institutes of higher learning today. The time has come to set up similar innovation clubs in every school as well.
The President said that he was delighted to witness the range of creative ideas and innovations displayed at the exhibition prior to this award giving function. These exhibits not only promise to preserve our diversity but also benefit various sections of the society. He could very well envision that some of these are meant for including the excluded ones in the development process. They augment the potential for unaided grassroots innovation.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development; Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology; Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Prof. Anil K Gupta, Executive Vice-Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation.