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National Innovation Council poised to launch fund: Pitroda

Saturday November 03, 2012 08:34:41 AM, IANS

New Delhi: The National Innovation Council is poised to launch its India Inclusive Innovation Fund, with an initial corpus of Rs.500 crore, to finance innovative enterprises focused on people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The fund will aspire to a corpus of Rs.5,000 crore but will be launched with an initial corpus of Rs.500 crore with contribution from the government, banks, institutions and multilateral agencies, said Sam Pitroda, chairman of the National Innovation Council and Adviser to the Prime Minister, in his foreword to the council's annual 'Report to the People 2012'.

The National Innovation Counicl (NInC) has been focusing on innovations in micro small and medium enterprises by facilitating industry innovation clusters to drive job creation and productivity. The NInC is in the process of compiling learnings from seven industry clusters in order to replicate it across industry clusters in the country, Pitroda said.

The council has also been working to implement broadband connectivity to 2,50,000 panchayats in the country to "democratize information and enhance citizen participation in governance". In order to test connectivity and local application, pilot projects are on in 58 panchayat locations.

The council is also working with the law and justice ministry, the judiciary and the home ministry on ICT intervention in courts, police stations and prisons to improve access to justice and reduce pendency in the legal system.

It is also taking steps to nurture innovation in the education system by intervening in curriculum, talent-spotting of innovators among students and award of innovation fellowships. The human resource development ministry will be launching 1,000 scholarships, under the National Innovation Scholarship Scheme, from 2013, he said.

The council is also launching a "Tod Fod Jod" workshops across schools to excite young minds and to encourage students to dismantle and reassembly everyday products to understand the concepts behind them in a practical and fun manner.

It is also working with the HRD ministry to create a Meta University, as a global first, that rides on the National Knowledge Network to promote multi-disciplinary learning. The ministry has already facilitated setting up such a university in Delhi in which the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi University and the IIT Delhi are participating.

To drive innovation at the university level, the council is facilitating creation of innovation eco systems through university innovation clusters. The NInC is also working with the HRD ministry to set up 20 design innovation centres located in existing institutes, an Open Design School as well as a National Design Innovation Network. The ministry has identified institutes where five new Design Innovation Centres will be located and started in 2012-13.

As part of efforts to set up State Innovation Councils and sectoral innovation councils, aligned to the government ministries, 22 states have set up such councils, while 23 sectoral innovation councils have been set up. The NInC is now focussing on setting up city innovation councils.

It has also conceptualized the initiative of 'One MP One Idea' where MPs will award the top three innovations in their constituency and spur innovative thinking at the grassroots.

By playing the role of a catalyst, the council aims to trigger a movement towards innovative thinking that will "transfer the nation to a nation of problem solvers and solution providers".

He said there is need to sensitise stakeholders on the need for innovation and create improved mechanism of collaborating among government, industry, R and D institutions, academia and the community at large to drive innovation.

The core idea of the council is to innovate to produce affordable and qualitative solutions that address the needs of the people at the bottom of the pyramid, eliminate disparity and focus on an inclusive growth model, Pitroda said in the foreword.






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