- Posted: Fri, Apr 11 2008. 12:52 AM IST
We want India’s children to be creative, innovative
Ahmedabad: The National Innovation Foundation (NIF), set up by the department of science and technology, has been providing institutional support to scout, spawn, sustain and scale up grass-roots green innovations by farmers, artisans and women in rural India. Shifting its focus to school-going children, the foundation is planning a national competition on innovation, Ignite ’08, across 51 cities and towns. The six-month exercise will end on 15 October, the birthday of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Executive vice-chairperson of NIF and a professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Anil Gupta, shares the vision of this initiative. Edited extracts:
We have divided the campaign to unlock children’s creativity in four segments, the first being creative and innovative solutions developed by the children. Every student would be motivated to try and develop original solutions to various problems around them during the summer vacation. They can also submit ideas if they have not been able to convert them into physical projects. We may give financial and mentoring support to complete the projects. In the deserving cases, applications for patents will be filed in their name and we will bear the cost. The second segment consists of children identifying the problems and inefficiencies in everyday life. For instance, the cooking gas gets exhausted without any advance warning. Why couldn’t there be an indicator telling in advance how long the gas will last? They will submit these problems with possible solutions. The third segment is the rich traditional knowledge of India related to health, child care, women’s problems, clothes, cosmetics, haircare, construction, food processing, etc. There is an erosion in new generation’s knowledge in these areas because of lack of connectivity between grandparents and grandchildren. We will encourage children to document such knowledge.
Anil K Gupta