President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) and presented the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Awards (GYTI) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, here today.

GYTI celebrates the spirit of student innovation in all the fields of engineering, science, technology and design through extremely affordable/frugal solution or the ones pushing the technological edge. This year 2915 entries were received in 54 technology domains from 312 universities institutes belonging to 34 states and Union Territories.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the vision of a newer and better India calls for meeting certain developmental milestones, some of these as early as 2022 – when we commemorate the 75th anniversary of our Independence. “It focuses on building an inclusive and happy society, where every individual has the opportunity to realise his or her potential. An innovation society will be a goal for such an India. And an innovation culture will be a catalyst to help us reach that goal. This calls for revitalising every link in the innovation value chain. We need schools where children tinker rather than memorise and mug. We need work cultures where young talent looks up and questions – rather than looks down and nods. And of course we need the government to provide a facilitative environment,” he said.

President Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind with participants at the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, on Monday.

The President said that innovations by themselves are not enough. “We must also build an ecosystem for converting innovations into enterprises. This requires support for start-ups and for incubating young innovators. The concept of FINE brings the two wings of the bird of imagination together. We need to connect all the links of incubating innovations into enterprises by providing financial, mentoring and policy support,” he added.

FINE, an initiative to recognise, respect, showcase, reward innovations and to foster a supportive ecosystem for innovators, is being organised by Rashtrapati Bhavan in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the National Innovation Foundation. The NIF, set up in 2000 by the Department of Science and Technology, has taken major initiatives to serve the knowledge-rich, economically poor people of the country.

Close to 250 innovative exhibits of school students, grassroots innovators, technology students, entrepreneurs, Industry representatives and Public sector organisations are on display at exhibition of innovations.

The exhibition showcases several innovations, including overloading detector in vehicle (ODV) by Moin Bashir Zargar, Mohd Sameer ul haq, Arsalan Ahmed of Distt. Kishtwar (J&K) India; innovative dustbin by Prem Ranjan Singh, Shivani Singh and Ankush Pal from Daman & Diu(UT), Solar Seeder by Subash Chandra Bose, of Pudukkotti, Tamil Nadu; emergency light in two-wheelers by Gayatri S and Pranav S of Cochin, Kerala; alarming aid for deaf and dumb by M Laxmi, Mahaboobnagr Telangana, among others.

The most noticeable products among the eye-catching innovations are e –spoon by Ayush Asthana from Noida UP and dust collecting attachment for drill machine by Digantika Bose, Burdwan West Bangal (IGNITE awardees).

Integral to FINE will be an exhibition of innovations that will remain open for public viewing between 1200 hrs to 1700 hrs from March 20 to 23, 2018. Visitors can come through Gate number 35 of Rashtrapati Bhavan (near North Avenue).

The representatives of the various institutions of higher learning will be participating in a group discussion about lessons they wish to share about searching, spreading and celebrating grassroots innovations. They will also share how they sensed the unmet social needs and tried to solve them.

Some major highlights of the festival are government-industry interaction on enriching innovation ecosystem (Secretaries and industry leaders will interact on how more innovative products could reach to the market) will be organised. Workshop of design innovation centres and their interactions with innovators will also be organised.

Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the country and a body under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India, is organising a workshop on B2G with the innovators selected by National Innovation Foundation (NIF). This workshop would primarily focus on how the GeM (Government E-Marketplace) platform can be leveraged by the innovators and other expectations from a B2G business.

Besides, the festival will have as part of the FINE, four roundtables will also be organised to discuss various issues related to the theme, group discussions, on different topics during the week.