Government to throw up ‘grand’ challenges before innovators of world, NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant

BENGALURU, Feb 12 (PTI): NITI Ayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant today said the government would throw up ‘grand’ challenges before innovators in India as well as the world to find solutions to the problems of the country. He said the Silicon Valley has the greatest number of innovators trying to find solutions to the least number of problems, whereas India has all the challenges of the world. “That’s why we need most of the innovators in India,” he said, throwing up challenge before technological companies and tech related start-ups while speaking on ‘Start-up Sarkar: Making Bharat go digital’ at Kalaari Capital Summit-2018 here. Elaborating, he said the greatest innovators at Silicon Valley were trying to create driverless cars and making rockets. However, these were not the solutions the world was looking at.
The challenges important for humanity was how to provide arsenic and fluoride free water,seed and fertilizers to enable farmers enhance productivity, make flyovers in 40 days instead of 4 and half years, make India blackout free, he said. “How do we leapfrog in a manner that polluted cities can be cleaned up?,” he asked. In this context, Kant said, the country would throw-up challenges to find solution to the problems of India. The NITI Ayog CEO said finding solutions to the problems of India will help not just the 1.35 billion people, but seven billion people across the globe. He said the Central government was going to support 30,000 tinkering labs and schools across India under the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ in the next three years. These Atal tinkering centres will ‘disrupt’ India like never before, he said.
“We have grown up in an Anglo-Saxon system of education where book learning, examination, passing out and all that is very critical… but one of the things we are trying to do is disrupt this,” said Kant. He said in the last two-and-half years,the government had opened 2,500 tinkering labs in schools under the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ where robots, 3D printers and internet of things are provided from class six onwards. “Our object is that in the next three years we will be supporting 30,000 tinkering labs and schools across India so that students move away (from conventional education) and start innovating and we are able to develop that innovative mindset from class six onwards till class 12,” Kant said.
On another major initiative, he said the government supported incubation centres linked to education institutes. “Our objective is that we should allow a lot of students in our education system,in our IITs and IIMs to play around in these incubation centres and come up with innovative products.