Innovation in Education

Education is the crucible in which Innovations are forged. Promoting creativity and incentivizing innovations through our educational institutions is a first step towards broadening and deepening the impact of innovations in our society and economy. In large scale education systems such as ours, catering to a vast population with relatively limited resources, this is a major challenge. At the same time, with rapid advances in new technologies, changing needs of the economy, and the very presence of the challenges identified above, the sector itself presents a fertile ground for pioneering innovations. Recognising the fundamental role of education in nurturing and fostering an ecosystem of innovation the National Innovation Council is engaged in a series of initiatives to encourage innovations in existing educational institutions – universities, colleges and schools, as well as promoting new educational models and innovative platforms for knowledge creation, dissemination and application. Some of the key proposals of the NInc in this domain include:

(a) Creation of a separate scholarship stream of National Innovation Scholarships analogous to the National Talent Search Scheme. This will help identify talented children at the school level who think creatively, laterally and innovatively on issues that they perceive as important in their local environment. It is expected to have a multiplier effect of valuing creativity and innovation by parents and teachers and the learning system.

(b) Setting up an Innovation Centre in each DIET (District Institute of Education and Training) to enhance teacher training and enable them to become facilitators of creativity and innovative thinking. This could be done by tapping local creative talent on part-time basis into DIETs.

(c) Mapping of Local History, Ecology and Cultural Heritage by each High School in the country to create critical thinking on their local environment by students.

(d) Creation of a National Innovation Promotion Service to replace/add to National Service Scheme in Colleges to use college students to identify local innovations.

(e) Setting up a Meta University, as a new model for a 21st Century University where a network of institutions riding on the National Knowledge Network come together to offer students a collaborative and multidisciplinary learning experience.

(f) Setting up twenty Design Innovation Centres co-located in institutes of national importance. It has been proposed to set up these Design Innovation Centres in twenty select institutions and include them in the 12th Plan for consideration by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Co-location in campuses of national repute like IITs/NITs will help leveraging of academic and industry resources and give a boost to design capacity in the country.

(g) Setting up University Innovation Clusters
NInC proposes to identify and facilitate the development of 20 University Innovation Clusters across the country where innovation would be seeded through Cluster Innovation Centres. The CIC will provide a platform for the university and its partners to forge linkages between various stakeholders from industry and academia, initiate and assist innovation activities, encourage innovations in curricula and act as a catalyst and facilitator. It will also work closely with other industry clusters in its region. An initial pilot with University of Delhi has commenced and received overwhelming response from the student community.

For more details read University Innovation Clusters: Draft Concept Paper.

(h) Igniting Youth Innovation with Tod Fod Jod Centers at Schools and Colleges
To Foster Innovation at an early stage and to create an innovative mindset in the youth, NInC has propsosed the creation of Tod Fod Jod (TFJ)  Centres in Schools and  Colleges. The aim is to provide a hands-on learning environment where students can de-construct, re-construct or re-purpose everyday objects that they see or use. Read more.

Progress: The Ministry of Human Resource Development has in principle approved the following proposals:

(a) Award of 1000 Innovation Fellowships at the School Level ( Classes 9-12)

(b) Introducing the Mapping of Local History, Local Ecology and Local Culture and Heritage by all High Schools

(c) Setting up the first Meta-University of the world for multi-disciplinary and collaborative learning All these three proposals will roll out in academic year 2012. Other proposals are also under consultation with Ministry of HRD.

Two pilots at Delhi Univ., New Delhi & Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat are underway. The CIC at Delhi University has launched a B.Tech. Program in Innovation and is pursuing collaborative relationships with industry bodies like PHD Chamber of Commerce, Network of ICT Entrepreneurs & Enterprises (NITEE) and others.

Tod Fod Jod Initiative is being piloted at several locations across India, with NInC sessions being held at selected schools in Delhi, Vadodara and Karnataka. The pilots are aimed at school students, with different levels of sophistication and hands-on-learning. More than 4,000 kids mostly rural have attended hundreds of TJF sessions.

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