The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh released the first Report the People of the Nation Innovation Council Function in New Delhi today. He also launched Council’s portal on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister emphasized that his government would like to pioneer a model of innovation that addresses problems in areas of poverty eradication, people’s health, rural communications, development of agriculture, development of animal husbandry, green energy and similar other challenges.
The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh released the first Report the People of the Nation Innovation Council Function in New Delhi today. He also launched Council’s portal on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister emphasized that his government would like to pioneer a model of innovation that addresses problems in areas of poverty eradication, people’s health, rural communications, development of agriculture, development of animal husbandry, green energy and similar other challenges. Following is the text of Prime Minister’s Address:
“I am very happy to participate in this unique function which marks one year of solid work by the National Innovation Council. This Council has very eminent men and women as its members and I thank each one of them for their contribution during the past year or so. The Report to the People just released today contains a summary of the Council’s activities during this period of one year and it is a matter of satisfaction for all of us that the progress achieved so far has been very good.
As you are aware, in 2009, our government declared its intent to make the next decade a Decade of Innovation. This is because we realize that innovation has a critical role to play in the processes of India’s economic and social growth and development. The sets of challenges that we as a nation face is not only diverse but in some ways also unique. It is only through creativity and innovation, by coming up with novel solutions appropriate to the Indian condition and Indian context, that we can meet these challenges effectively. Indeed we see innovation as truly a game changer to move from incremental change to radical change. And therefore it is our resolve to build an enabling environment for innovation to flourish in our country.
There are some advantages that we have in achieving the task that we have set for ourselves. Our democracy, our diversity and our demography are all facilitating factors which encourage innovation in our country. Our democracy, which has been deepening through Panchayats and broadening through civil society action, gives an opportunity to multiply to multiple thoughts to contend with each other. Our diversity is an advantage as there is evidence that innovation happens when people with diverse talents engage in a common endeavor. And demographically we are also a very youthful nation. The young people are restless, they are impatient for change, and they are innovative. We need to fully exploit these enormous advantages that we have as a nation.
Our legacy of innovation goes a long way back. As Sam mentioned, we were the first to realize the vision of “universities” at Nalanda and Takhshashila. Our freedom struggle that we won without recourse to arms was a social innovation in peaceful resistance. In recent times, we have made several innovations in areas such as space technology, atomic energy, and automobiles. But innovation in our country has by and large focused mostly on the needs of the upper income groups and not adequately on solving the problems of the poor and the underprivileged. We wish and we must change this state of affairs. We would like to pioneer a model of innovation that addresses problems in areas such as poverty eradication, people’s health, rural communications, development of agriculture, development of animal husbandry, green energy and similar other challenges. We are currently witnessing an innovative experiment in rights-based delivery through a Right to Work, Right to Education and Right to Information, while a Right to Food Security is on the anvil.
I have been told that in the first year of its work, the National Innovation Council has focused on nurturing a culture of innovation through education. It has built on the earlier work of the National Knowledge Commission towards creating a National Knowledge Network which would ultimately connect all colleges in our county. It also proposes to launch a meta-university, which would provide a student the opportunity to pursue another discipline of study in another college that is part of the network. This would enable a student of astrophysics in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, for example, to take up a course in comparative literature at the Jadavpur University. Such creative reconfigurations are expected to create “new minds” conducive to the growth of innovation.
A number of other initiatives have also been taken. The Ministry of Human Resource Development under the leadership of Kapil Sibal proposes to introduce Innovation Fellowships to reward talent at the school level. It also proposes to engage students at High School level to map local history, ecology and local cultural heritage to make them critically conscious of their immediate surrounding environment. Similarly, to increase competitiveness of local small scale industry, the National Innovation Council together with the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium enterprises and with the assistance of CSIR is setting up industry innovation clusters. Two University clusters have signed in for setting up courses in innovation—the University of Delhi and recently the MS University of Baroda. To promote innovation, the 13th Finance Commission has provided a Rs 1 crore grant to each District called the District Innovation Fund. State level Innovation Councils have been set up to complement activities of the National Council. The Prasar Bharati has taken a decision to champion local innovations and local heroes of innovation. In addition they will be showcasing India’s legacy of creative innovative thought and our major innovations in the contemporary India.
With these words I would like to compliment Sam and his team at the National Innovation Council for these steps. I also wish to thank my Cabinet colleagues particularly Shri Pranab Mukharjee for extending their whole-hearted support to these new pioneering initiatives. I wish the National Innovation Council all success in the noble work it is engaged in.”
Source:-Press Information Bureau, Nov 15, 2011