National Innovation Council

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Media Coverage of the Launch of Gandhi Portal for Children

A first of its kind Mahatma Gandhi for children portal was launched by Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister, during a Twitter Conference at 5pm on 30th January 2014. This initiative is a tribute to the Father of our nation, on his 66th death anniversary.

Following is the broad Media coverage of the launch event.


Launch of portal on Gandhi for children

30th January, 2014

A first of its kind Mahatma Gandhi for children portal was launched by Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister, during a Twitter Conference at 5pm on 30th January 2014. This initiative is a tribute to the Father of our nation, on his 66th death anniversary.

The portal - “Search for Gandhi" – targets children from the age of 6 to 15 years and is available in English as well as Hindi. The portal brings Gandhi’s life story to educate and inspire children through audios, videos, creatively integrated facts, games and quizzes.

A freedom fighter, a visionary and a leader, Gandhi’s life is filled with lessons that are imperative even in today's day and age. Games and quizzes have been designed to drive the visitors to know more about Gandhi and how they could put his message to practice in their own lives. Unlike text books, the portal provides an interactive, innovative and technology driven platform.

The Twitter Conference saw hundreds of tweets coming in from several countries around the world, that were answered by Sam Pitroda - @sampitroda and Jahanvi Prasad - @jprasada, Founder, Youth 4 Gandhi Foundation. The portal is now available at The complete text of the Twitter Conference can be found at


Government to Launch India Inclusive Innovation Fund - Press Note

27th January, 2014

The National Innovation Council (NInC) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) jointly announced the creation of the India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF). IIIF, which has been approved by the Union Cabinet, was conceived and architected by the NInC as a unique concept which seeks to combine innovation and the dynamism of enterprise to solve the problems of citizens at the base of the economic pyramid in India.

Speaking about the Fund, Sam Pitroda, Chairman of NinC and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation said: “The needs of the people at the base of the economic pyramid are today served by philanthropy and government grants / subsidies which can never be either adequate or scalable.. IIIF seeks to leverage the  model of Venture Capital  to transform the lives of the less privileged”.

The IIIF seeks to create a new class of capital which helps set up and scale entrepreneurial skills and innovation which address the needs of the base of the economic pyramid. The Fund will invest in innovative ventures that are scalable, sustainable and therefore profitable but address social needs of our less privileged citizens in areas such as healthcare, food, nutrition, agriculture, education / skill development, energy, financial inclusion, water, sanitation, employment generation, etc.

The Fund will be registered under SEBI’s Alternative Investment Fund Category I guidelines with an initial corpus of Rs. 500 crores, with the Ministry of MSME committing to 20% (Rs 100 crores) and the balance being given by Banks, insurance companies, overseas financial and development institutions. The Fund will endeavour to provide modest financial returns, while ensuring significant social impact to the community. The Fund’s eventual aim is to expand the corpus to Rs. 5,000 crores over the next 24 months.

Lack of Capital is one of the major reasons why ventures and entrepreneurs seeking to address the needs at the base of the economic pyramid have failed to take off. IIIF seeks to address exactly this gap and therefore at least 50% of its investments initially will be to enterprises that fall in the MSME stage. It has been observed globally that new enterprises have the highest potential for job creation and hence IIIF will seek to address this aspect as well.

The IIIF will also partner the entire ecosystem in this space, including incubators, angel groups, and also public R&D programmes and laboratories to support the commercialisation and deployment of socially relevant innovative technologies and solutions.

The Government will not be involved in the day to day operations of the Fund, which will be entrusted to an Asset Management Company (AMC), set up as a Section 25 not for profit company. The AMC will appoint a professional management team for this purpose as also an Investment Committee comprising professionals of repute, which will take all investment / divestment decisions. A Governing Council comprising government nominees as well as eminent persons from the fields of public service, industry, finance, entrepreneurship, etc. will provide oversight and ensure the

Purpose  of the Fund is maintained.  The AMC will also build a mentoring network, enable incubation and provide training and skills development programmes to entrepreneurs and IIIF assisted companies.


Join the Conversation with Sam Pitroda & Nandita Das: 15th Dec at 6.30 PM

Press Release

14th December, 2013

The National Innovation Council is hosting the second episode of – ‘Join the Conversation’- with Mr Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister & Chairman, National Innovation Council and Ms Nandita Das, eminent Film Director and Actor on 15 December between 6.30 PM and 7.30 PM IST.

‘Join the Conversation' is a platform for open conversations, discussions & debates between the youth of the country and policy makers, experts and other youth icons, on diverse subject areas. The objective is to fuel discussion on current issues and relevant topics such as education, art, culture, technology, and self-development amongst others.

The first episode of ‘Join the Conversation’ was attended by more than 20,000 youth from across India and several other countries. The second episode is now set to take place on 15th December between 6.30 PM and 7.30 PM IST. The discussion will be live streamed on YouTube via Questions can be addressed via Twitter to @sampitroda, @nanditadas with Hashtag #JTC. More than 50,000 youth are expected to be part of this virtual event from various parts of India and across the world. More details about the initiative are available on


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