Week-long ‘Festival of Innovations’ kicks off at Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi: In a bid to boost the grassroot-level innovations across the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday inaugurated the second edition of the week-long “Festival Innovation” at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

The festival, to be celebrated from March 12 to 19, has been organised by the President’s Office in collaboration with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

‘Festival of Innovations’ kicks off The festival was kicked off with the inauguration of an “Exhibition of Innovations” at the world-famous Mughal Gardens that will remain open to the public till March 19.

“Innovation is an idea whose time has come. The budget for this festival has gone up 600 percent as compared to last year,” Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science & Technology, told mediapersons. “Our idea is to reach out to the students from class 6 to 12 for innovative ideas across the country.

From there, one lakh ideas will be selected and each of them will be given Rs.5,000 to convert the idea into an innovation,” he added. Later on, 10,000 innovations will be selected and showcased at state-level. Out of the 10,000 innovations, 1,000 will be showcased at the national level. “The final 60 innovations will be showcased at the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Sharma noted.

The president also released a book titled “Festival of Innovation- 2015” authored by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, at the event. The exhibition showcases several innovations including a tractor-driven onion transplanter, multi-crop thresher, foot operated page-turning device for differently-abled and posture correcting chair, among others.

The most noticeable products among the 65 eye-catching grassroot innovations are anti-molestation device for women worn on wrist and alert switch in bus/auto rickshaw for the safety of women. Besides the above, the festival will have three exhibitions, two workshops, four group discussions, two award presentation ceremonies and roundtable on different topics during the week.

Some highlights of the festival are a keynote address by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on March 13 and presentation of Visitor’s Award on March 14. The NIF, set up in 2000 by the Department of Science and Technology, has taken major initiatives to serve the knowledge-rich, economically poor people of the country.