The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE) and presented the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (March 19, 2018). Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, was also present on the occasion.

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.

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.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, observed this is one historic occasion when probably for the first time in the country and maybe the first time in the world, top innovators from informal sector, student innovators from school and technical institutions, those from the public research and development institutions, from the industry, and entrepreneurs are sharing one single platform.

Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) reiterated Government’s commitment to ensure that benefits of the scientific research undertaken in the country, should reach the last mile and urged citizens to make use of the schemes that DST and other government agencies have designed specifically for the kind of work being done in the country.

Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind and Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences had an interaction with the fifth batch of Innovation Scholars In-Residence programme.

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 from March 19 to 23, 2018.

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).

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