22nd December 2017: Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the former President of India gave away the 10 th Dr A P J Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards 2017 to 56 creative and innovative students.

The competition is organised every year by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. An exhibition to showcase all award-winning ideas by young, creative minds of this nation was also organized.

This year, students from 16 States  were awarded for their ideas/innovations. Overall, more than 65,000 submissions were received from 576 districts of the country. Among  the dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri OP Kohli, Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat; Dr R A Mashelkar, Chairperson NIF and Prof. Anil K Gupta, Executive Vice- Chairperson, NIF.

Shri OP Kohli made an appeal to the parents and teachers of the ignite award winners and others children that they should not try to fulfil their incomplete dream through their children and let children fulfil their own dreams. He added, the children from privileged background must be encouraged to connect with their less privileged brothers and sisters so that they develop a collegial attitude, and become inclusive in their personality.

Prof Anil Gupta observed that children by nature are impatient towards problems, and it is
this impatience, which become a driver for their Innovations. He also mentioned about the outstanding support extended by Presidents’ Secretariat of India in promoting Innovation in
the country.

Dr R A Mashelkar said that India is seen as an innovation nation and it took some giant strides during the presidency of Shri Pranab Mukherjee to reinforce its commitment towards innovation.

Speaking on the occasion, the former President urged that we should introduce lessons in
the text books based on the ideas of such creative children in different classes. Our children should start thinking of scouting the unmet social needs and addressing them through social innovations at an early stage. He further said that we should also share the ideas about risk taking, developing entrepreneurial ideas for social, economic and cultural entrepreneurship.

They should get a chance to interact with some such children whose ideas have been
appreciated by the country wherever possible. Children must be encouraged to think
originally about inclusive development of the country.

Hon’ble former President expressed his happiness on the current thrust of the Government
of India to promote entrepreneurship at all levels in society through a very vigorous start-up movement in India. He observed, INSPIRE-MANAK scheme of department of Science and Technology is an unique effort in which NIF is processing a million creative ideas- two ideas each from around half a million schools- all over the country. After filtering them at
different levels, NIF will take them to the top level for recognition by the President of India.

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