NITI Aayog to scale up scheme for student innovators

NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar says that by March 2019, the think tank will be putting up 5,000 such labs across the country

New Delhi: Federal policy think tank NITI Aayog will scale up its support for workable business ideas around inventions made by students under the scheme Atal Tinkering Labs.

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NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday that by March 2019, the think tank will be putting up 5,000 such labs across the country. The idea is to multiply the ecosystem in schools that promote innovation and adapt them for industrial use. The Atal Tinkering Lab scheme is available to both public as well as private schools. To generate workable business ideas from students, the government increased funds available under the scheme to Rs200 crore in 2018-19, up from Rs150 crore the year before.

NITI Aayog will eventually expand the scheme exponentially. “Our high-level committee has unanimously decided that we should be able to set up 30,000 such labs across the country,” said Kumar. NITI Aayog is also considering setting up such labs at the community level to promote innovation by citizens. The plan is to create a culture of innovation in the country. “This will ensure that we become an innovating society rather than an imitating society,” said Kumar.

The think tank will also help in connecting workable business ideas by these innovators to businesses.

“Our goal is to drive extensive forward and backward linkages within the stakeholders in India, to create a paradigm shift in the student mindset and prepare them to become young innovators and entrepreneurs,” said an official statement from NITI Ayog. The think tank on Thursday awarded 30 teams chosen from schools across the country for the top functional ideas received under the scheme in the areas of clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agri-tech.


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