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Innovation to Empower Modern Entrepreneurs: Harsh Vardhan

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Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has said that India is home to lakhs of grassroot innovators and it is important to empower them with modern entrepreneurial skills and assist them.

Inaugurating the India International Science Festival 2017 at Anna University in Chennai, the Minister said that National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) will be organizing the Grassroots Innovators Summit, as part of this four day festival.

He said the Innovators Summit aims to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge and provide a common platform for various stakeholders – from innovators, students, researchers to policy makers.

He urged the scientific community to contribute in realizing Prime Minister’s vision of establishing A New India by 2022. Detailing the initiatives launched by the Government in the last three years, Dr Harsh Vardhan said there has been a 60 per cent hike in the budget for Science and Technology.

The Minister lauded the contribution of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who laid the foundation stone for Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) and recalled the important role played by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in developing scientific institutions of repute.  The Minister said eminent scientists like Sir C.V.Raman,  Prof S.Chandrasekar,  Sir Srinivasa Ramanujam , Dr Abdul Kalam, contributed significantly to the advancement of science.

Y. S. Chowdary, Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, welcomed the august gathering. The key participants at the grand inaugural ceremony included Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, National President, VIBHA, Minister of Higher Education of Afghanistan Shri. Abdul Latif Roshan, Science &Technology Minister of Bangladesh  Shri Yeafesh Osman and Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Government of Tamil Nadu Shri. K. P. Anbalagan shared their vision on science and technology, while addressing the gathering. Vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary, MoES, stressed the need to translating the scientific knowledge to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.

The third edition of India IISF 2017 is being held at Chennai during 13th – 16th October 2017 and National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT) is the main coordinator.  The theme of the Science Festival is “Science for New India”. The events are held simultaneously at five venues Anna University (main venue), ESSO-NIOT, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research -Central Leather Research Institute (CSIR-CLRI), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC), and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras). Stake holders from various fields, academia, industry, government, social organizations, school teachers and students to name a few are participating in the four-day event. On 13th October 2017, IISF 2017 kick started with grand inauguration followed by events held at various venues. The highlights of the day are as follows:


Science & Technology Ministers’ Conclave: The event is hosted as part of IISF 2017 to provide a platform for deliberations with India’s neighbouring countries in an effort to build and strengthen a partnership through science, technology and innovation. This conclave provided an opportunity to exchange the scientific and technological priorities and challenges of some of our neighbouring countries that can help to develop a road map of Science & Technology cooperation by developing human capacity and infrastructure. The conclave was held at Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research at IIT Madras on 13th October 2017. Bangladesh Minister of Science & Technology, Yeafesh Osman and Afghanistan Minister of Higher Education, Abdul Latif Roshan participated in the discussions and shared their views on Science & Technology cooperation.

Sensitizing Youth to Flagship Programs of Government (SYPOG): SYPOG is an effort to sensitize the youth about Government’s policies and success stories related to national flagship programs like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, Climate Change and Swasth Bharat. SYPOG is an opportunity for young scientists, scholars and faculties from all over the country to showcase their innovations and scientific contributions to the mentioned National Programs. The activities of SYPOG will be held on all four days of IISF 2017. Plenary Sessions on themes ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Digital India’ were held on 13th October at Vivekananda Hall in Anna University.

Science Village- Parliament to Panchayat: The science village is aimed at providing exposure to the students from rural India and make them aware of India’s achievements in the frontier areas of science and technology. The participants of science village student delegates were selected and nominated by Members of Parliament from the adopted villages under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana. More than 2000 students along with their teachers from 22 states are participating in the event. The students and accompanying teachers are grouped into six houses named after eminent Indian Scientists. Each group of students and teachers are being trained as part of the science village. Each group also visited research ship ORV Sagar Nidhi in Chennai port.

Mega Science and Technology Expo: Mega Expo is aimed at showcasing the achievements and success stories of Indian scientific/academic organizations, R&D labs, PSUs and Indian Industry. A comprehensive show of Scientific, Technological and Industrial programs and achievements of India have been arranged under 12 theme pavilions at the expo.

Grassroot Innovators Summit: Grassroot Innovators Summit aims at providing a common platform for various stakeholders –students, researchers to policy makers under the ‘Innovation Exhibition’ held at Anna University. About 100 innovative technologies from several states of the country are showcased at the exhibition. Special focus is given to those which could be diffused socially and generate employment. About 100 innovative technologies from several states of the country are being showcased at the exhibition. A seminar/round-table on innovation was held, during which speakers delivered lectures on three focal themes ‘Scouting and Documentation of Green Grassroot Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge practices’, ‘Value Addition Research & Product Development’, and ‘Intellectual Property Rights’.

Round Table Meet on “Mass Communication”:  As part of the IISF, a Round Table Meet on Mass Communication is being organized at National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT), Chennai. The Round Table Meet is being coordinated by the CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (CSIR-NISCAIR), New Delhi and National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT), Chennai. The Round Table Meet is aimed to address various methods and techniques to popularize science and its applications. On the first day, the inauguration of the round table meet and a panel discussion was held on the contemporary topic ‘Why science coverage in mass media is abysmally low? How it can be increased?’ Prominent media persons, science communicators, science journalists, social, electronic and print media journalists dealing with science and passionate science and journalism students discussed various aspects of mass communication in science and technology. The Meet also showcased various science communication products, such as publications, audio-visual communications, digital and other software materials.

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