On 14th February 2019, New Delhi witnessed the inauguration of the 7thNational Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) of the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK programme, which was inaugurated by Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India at IIT Delhi.
The National Capital witnessed more than 800 innovations under one roof as students from almost all States and Union Territories across the country had marched to the city so as to participate in a two – day 7th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition under INSPIRE Awards – MANAK scheme on 14th and 15th February, 2019.
The INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) Awards – MANAK(Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) is a flagship scheme of the Government of India, executed by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF). Aligned with the action plan for “Start-up India” initiative, the scheme aims to help build a critical human resource pool for strengthening, expand science and technology system and increase the research & development base on the same by inviting students from all government and private schools throughout the country and enabling them to send their original & creative technological ideas/innovations on the same.
This year 2,87,994 ideas and innovations have been scouted with participation from all States and Union Territories of the country. Out of these, 50,279 were provided with a financial support of Rs 10,000 each for developing prototypes. After a series of DLEPC (District Level Exhibition and Project Competition) and subsequent SLEPC (State Level Exhibition and Project Competition) for those qualifying in DLEPC thereby covering more than 45000 innovations from nearly 650 districts, the stage is now set for NLEPC for those qualified in SLEPC. With the objective of bringing perfection to the prototypes being displayed by students, NIF conducted a series of mentoring workshops for students from 29 States in about two months at premier Technological Institutions of the country at 16 different locations.
The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK scheme is not just an award, rather it is a complete incubation programme where top ideas and innovations from NLEPC will be taken up for enterprise creation – suitable entrepreneurs will be scouted to take these innovations forward, entities will be incorporated and business operating models will be defined and executed.
On 15th February, 2019 an award function was held at Dogra Hall, IIT Delhi where top innovations participating in the National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) will be conferred with an award. In the award function 60 students got innovation awards.
The two-day exhibition was open for everyone to attend and all citizens were encouraged to visit and witness the innovation potential of India and benefit from it.
NIF, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has been actively engaged in promoting creativity and innovation in our society. NIF has taken major initiatives to serve the knowledge-rich common man of the country. It is committed to making India innovative by documenting, adding value, protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the contemporary unaided technological innovators as well as of outstanding traditional knowledge-holders and disseminating their innovations on commercial and non-commercial basis.
By‑Dr Vipin Kumar
Director and Chief Innovation Officer
National Innovation Foundation ‑ India