Stating that innovations in India have focused mostly on the rich and not adequately solved problems of the underprivileged, former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, on Saturday, gave away the “Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards, 2019” to 21 awardees, including a kindergarten student from Gujarat.
“In recent times, we have made several innovations in areas such as space technology, atomic energy and automobiles, but innovations in our country have by and large focused on the rich and urban income groups, not adequately solving the problems of the poor and the underprivileged, who are marginalised. I sincerely wish we
must change this state of affairs,” Mukherjee said, while addressing the award function organised by the National Innovation Foundation at the Grambharti campus at Amrapur village, in Mansa taluka of Gandhinagar district.
The former President also gave away awards to 21 students. The youngest awardee was Vishva Goswami, who studies in Upper Kindergarten (UKG) at the Bhaskar Play School in Pethapur, Gandhinagar district. She received the award for her project titled “Plate with a detachable glass”, a glass holder which can be attached to a plate. It prevents the glass containing water or juice from spilling over, especially in gatherings where people prefer to consume food while standing.
In his speech, Mukherjee said that India’s legacy to innovate can be traced back to the universities of Nalanda and Takshashila in 3rd century BC.
“Our freedom struggle, which we won without recourse to arms, was a social innovation in peaceful resistance,” he said.
Talking about how innovations can move India from an incremental change to a radical change, the former President said, “Innovation has a critical role to play in the process of India’s economic and social growth and development. The sets of challenges that we as a nation face today are not only diverse, but in some ways also unique. It is only through creativity and innovation and by coming up with novel solutions appropriate to the Indian condition and context, that we can meet these challenges effectively.”
“I was told that for this year’s awards, over 60,000 submissions of students from 544 districts of all the states and union territories were received,” Mukherjee added. Children from Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, Gujarat, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Ladakh were recognised for their innovations.