Recently, through means of video conferencing, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee interacted with students, faculty of higher educational and research institutions and officer trainees at Civil Service Academies. The theme for this discussion was “INNOVATION: A WAY OF LIFE”.
He started by congratulating and welcoming the students who have newly started their journey in universities and other institutes and also sent regards to the officer trainees who are at their designated academies, undergoing probationary training. He also said that he looks forward to this session which is conducted annually, since 2014 and thanked the National Knowledge Network and the National Informatics Centre teams to make this session possible.
He further explained how India is a youth dominated country with 600 million people below the age of 25, out of a total of 1.28 billion people. President Pranab Mukherjee then pointed out the need of youth power to utilize the creative, restless and inquisitive minds to its full potential by creative thinking and a desire for innovation. With this he then introduced the topic “Innovation: A Way of Life”.
He then explained how despite of India’s commendable growth in the last few years, the country has been facing problems like poverty, inequality, unemployment, resource scarcity, and poor infrastructure and there was a need for modernisation and development of new technologies which would affect a larger sector of the society so that disparities can be reduced.
He then explained about the different types of innovations existing in the society i.e ‘pro-inclusive’ innovations, ‘frugal’ innovations, social innovations, ‘grassroots’ innovation. He also said that he was quite pleased with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s show Mann ki Baat as it has exhorted countrymen to create an innovation eco-system by promoting the Atal Innovation Mission. Then he appreciated MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology with NIF’s support which aims at finding at least two innovative ideas from each of a half a million schools. The ideas which are found to be worthy enough, will then be taken forward. He then said that he would also like creative and innovative people of the country to be a part of the innovative discussions to “recharge their creative batteries”. One such event will be hosted by the Rashtrapati Bhavan where there will be global roundtables and other interactive sessions for innovators, entrepreneurs and financiers to come forward with their ideas.
In the end he said that he hopes to see a developed India and shared nine sutras which should be kept in mind by the citizens of India, if they want to make a difference.
- Not to quiet children when they ask questions as this only will give a chance to them to learn, innovate, experiment and imagine.
- We should not try to force ourselves to stay in the boundaries set by science inventions as our this ability to question science can take us a long way in the future.
- Every school, colleges and research institutions must have innovation clubs and labs, so that the youth is given a chance to experiment, research and come up with new innovations that can fulfill the social needs of the society.
- Also, one should learn and share together in such a manner that the innovations created promotes public and common good over individual interest.
5. We should aim to upgrade the society as a whole and not forget the cultural, technological and traditional skills while implementing our employment guarantee schemes and skill development programmes.
6. To promote innovation in every stream of education so that students can come up with new and innovative ideas using their creative and problem solving skills.
7. People need to not only face the problems they come across every day, but also find solutions to solve these problems instead of just adapting to it.
8. In his eight sutra, he asked people to show speed and a sense of immediacy in developing and coming up with ideas and solutions of problems.
9. One must not settle for low quality, and inefficient work as one must aim to always improve and achieve higher standards in both performance and providing goods and services.
In the end, he concluded by saying that he looks forward to ideas that can make India a better place for both, the rich and the poor. And this can be only done if people can look past what’s wrong and focus what is right, bright and creative for the country.