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Innovation Mela at Modern School

Source: Indian Express, 22nd January, 2013

Addressing students at the first innovation mela called Tod Fod Jod, at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, in the capital on Monday, chairman of the National Innovation Council and advisor to the Prime Minister, Sam Pitroda, said the innovation initiative needs to be taken to rural areas of the country but it “is very hard to scale things in India.”

He also said this must be well-documented so that it can be put up on the Internet in the form of a web portal for other children to see and learn from.

He said: “India needs an Indian model of development and we need to develop it ourselves. Old paradigms don’t seem to deliver and I don’t think we can wait too long.”

He said that there are 20 million hungry people in the country, which has surplus food, because “we are still thinking in the old way.”

He also told teachers that they should try and connect with teachers in the rural areas and take the concept of Tod Fod Jod to them.

The aim of Tod Fod Jod centres set up by the National Innovation Council (NIC) is to “provide a hands-on learning environment where students can de-construct, re-construct and re-purpose everyday objects that they see or use.”

The initiative is being piloted across India, with NIC sessions being held in schools in Delhi, Vadodara and Karnataka.

The initiative is aimed at school students from classes V to XII and first- and second-year college students, with different levels of sophistication.

Pitroda said the initiative has spread in the last three months but that is “not enough” for a country like India.

He also requested children who presented their science models at the innovation fair to take Tod Fod Jod forward by talking to their peers about it.

Springdales School student Anirudh Sharma said, “I learnt about finding out things through science and also understanding our capabilities and limitations.”

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