VP:Reorient education system to foster out-of-box thinking

VP:Reorient education system to foster out-of-box thinking

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 6: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for creating a National Innovation Movement to promote path-breaking ideas and innovations that improve the living conditions of the people and generate wealth.

After presenting Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards-2019 at a function organised by the Department of Biotechnology, here, Mr Naidu in his address stressed the need to tap the huge talent present in every section of the society across the length and breadth of the country to build a new and inclusive India.

'I am convinced that innovation is the watchword for the 21st century. Every nation today has a choice to make. The alternatives are either to innovate and stay ahead of the curve or remain stagnant. With technological advancements ushering in rapid changes in every aspect of our lives and a growing agile talented pool ready to take on newer challenges, India is poised for a major leap forward,' the Vice-President added.

Complimenting the awardees, he urged the young scientists to come up with simple, low-cost but hi-tech innovations to make people’s lives more comfortable and address challenges such as pollution, climate change, diseases, not-so-profitable agriculture, and low-efficiency industrial processes.

Citing an example, the Vice-President referred to the machine invented by Telangana weaver Chintakindi Mallesham, who developed Asu machine, an innovative indigenous device that reduces the drudgery and time taken to weave a saree from about 6 hours to an hour and half.

Mr Mallesham was honoured with Padma Shri for his invention and a film was also made on his journey and achievement.

Saying that India is a vast and diverse country, he stressed that 'We cannot have a uniform programme that is applicable to all diverse contexts. Every state, every village, has its own individuality, its own traditional crafts and industries and its own very special set of developmental needs. The people in villages have a certain unique set of skills and capabilities.'

When we plan for development, these factors must be taken into consideration. In essence, the plan should capture the aspirations of the people and leverage their strengths.

Calling for stepping up Bio-Technology interventions to make agriculture more viable and sustainable, he said there was a need for a greater focus on allied sectors like animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, apart from other vital areas such as health, nutrition, environment and biodiversity conservation.

On the plans to make India a five trillion dollar economy by 2025, Mr Naidu said the engines driving this growth would be start-ups and digitisation. In this context, he suggested that every school and college should setup innovation departments and promote the culture of entrepreneurship.

He said the Government has identified 117 Aspirational Districts for their overall transformation and exhorted the young innovators to be part of the mass movement to transform those districts.

Referring to the call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi “to reform, perform and transform”, Mr Naidu said there was a lot meaning in that message and added that he had no hesitation in describing the Prime Minister as a great transformer since elections were over now.

He recalled that former US President Barack Obama had called Mr Modi as ‘Reformer-in-Chief’, in a profile penned by him to the Time Magazine.

Mr Naidu said the transformation of the nation is for the betterment of the lives of the people and innovation plays an important role in this process.

Observing that trained and capable youth must become the drivers of innovation in India, the Vice President called for enhancing their skills and encouraging them to explore the unchartered territories. He also called for reorienting education system to foster out-of-box thinking and problem-solving approach.

He suggested making good use of government schemes such as Digital India and Atal Tinkering Labs was the need of the hour for India to emerge as a global innovation hub.

Mr Naidu paid rich tributes to late Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary and said he would always be remembered for his Parliamentary brilliance, great oratorical skills and for laying down his life to uphold the status of Jammu and Kashmir as an inalienable and integral part of India.

Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, Dr R A Mashelkar, Chairman of BIRAC SITARE, Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) program, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Prof, Anil K Gupta, CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow and Founder Honey Bee Network were among those present. (UNI)