Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday batted for research and innovation, saying it has to be made a “way of living” with increasing acceptance for it in the society.
Addressing students at the grand finale of the Smart India Hackathon, he said social and institutional support will boost innovation and new ideas and original thinking should be respected.
“Research and innovation must be transformed from the way of working to the way of living. To increase the culture of innovation in India, we have to pay constant attention to two things – social support and institutional support. The acceptance of innovation as a profession has increased in the society and in such a situation, we have to accept new ideas and original thinking,” he said.
“The future of India will be dependent on innovations and work done by the youth. Your innovative mindset will take India to the top. The aspirational society of India will act as a driving force for a new India. With new ideas, new aspirations and new resolves we will move forward,” Modi said.
The prime minister said India is making rapid strides by keeping its faith in the young population and noted the country’s innovation index ranking has gone up. In the new National Education Policy, there is a roadmap for creating a strong foundation for innovation, he said.
“The number of patents in the last eight years has gone up by seven times and the count of unicorns has gone beyond 100. The country is progressing rapidly through one revolution after another. The infrastructure revolution and the health sector revolution is happening in India today.
“Digital revolution, technology revolution, talent revolution is happening in India today. Today, the focus is on making every sector modern,” he said.
The prime minister said every day new areas and challenges are seeking innovative solutions. He told the innovators to find solutions for agriculture-related issues.
“From agriculture to drones, the youth can work on innovations across sectors. I urge the youth to look at innovations not just for India but for countries around the world. We need to take affordable, sustainable and innovative solutions to the world.
“Indian innovations always provide the most competitive, affordable, sustainable, secured and at-scale solutions. That is why the world is looking towards India with hope,” he said.
Modi asked the young innovators to take full advantage of the initiatives like optical fibre in every village and the launch of 5G, preparation for 6G by the decade end and promotion of the gaming ecosystem.
Smart India Hackathon (SIH) has become an excellent example of public participation and the young innovators are the flag-bearers of the “Jai Anusandhan” call made by him on Independence Day, the prime minister said.
“Today’s young generations are coming forward with fast and smart solutions to problems. The thinking behind such hackathons is that the young generation should provide the solutions to the problems and this collaborative spirit between the youth, government and the private organisations is a great example of Sabka Prayas’,” he said.
SIH, which started in 2017, is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve the pressing problems of society, organisations, and government. It aims to inculcate the culture of product innovation, problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking among students.
More than 15,000 students and mentors are travelling to the 75 nodal centres to take part in the SIH 2022 grand finale.
Students from over 2,900 schools and 2,200 higher educational institutions are tackling 476 problem statements from across 53 Union ministries in the finale.
These include optical character recognition of temple inscriptions and translations in Devanagari scripts, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled risk monitoring system in the cold supply chain for perishable food items, high-resolution 3D model of terrain, and infrastructure and roads conditions in disaster-stricken areas.
Every year, Smart India Hackathon has two editions — SIH Software and SIH Hardware. This year Smart India Hackathon-Junior has also been introduced for school students to build a culture of innovation and problem-solving attitude at the school level.
Smart India Hackathon hardware grand finale is scheduled from August 25 to 29 and the software grand finale is scheduled from August 25 to 26.
The winners in the Smart India Hackathon on each problem statement will be awarded a prize amount of Rs 1 lakh. Under the student innovation category, three prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 will be awarded to the winning teams.