NEW DELHI: The Union ministries of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Information Technology have teamed up to identify and promote innovation and research amongst children in digital and technical fields right from the school level in backward districts across the country.
Officials said Centres of Innovation for children would be established in schools including Navodaya Vidyalayas in backward districts across the country. The aim is to nurture children and create and facilitate interest amongst students, who could later partner in India’s research and development. Officials said that they can start the first phase with some few hundred innovation centres by the end of this year.
The innovation fund for secondary and senior secondary education would be made available for 3479 educationally backwards blocks of the country.
The target students would be secondary (from Class 6th to 8th) and higher secondary (from Class 9th to 12th) students in backward districts of the country.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in the February 1 annual budget had called for introduction of innovation fund for secondary education in the country for which Rs 100 crore has been allocated for the financial year 2017-18. This will help in Information and Communications Technology, ICT-enabled transformation, according to Jaitley.
Sources said that students in these 3479 educationally backwards blocks of the country would be able to access to Swayam platform which will be widened by links to DTH channel through which students can have access to over 150 courses online.
India has been facing problems related to lack of research and innovation, owing to which the country has to import most of its requirements concerning industrial technology, defence equipment and other requirements in vivid sectors at a much higher cost.
“If we are able to make more research and self-reliant in technology, the country would be able to save lot of money as we are forced to import heavily to meet the demand,” said a senior IT ministry official.
The government also feels that creating and encouraging participation of students towards innovation and research will also help in meeting the quality standards required by the Indian industry.
Recently, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said industry bodies are not too sure about the employability of the technical graduates.
Similarly, the architect of Delhi Metro, E Sreedharan had in September last year stated that engineering institutes in the country are producing engineers of “very sub-standard” quality. Sreedharan had referred to a study, which surveyed some 300 engineering colleges to conclude that only 29 per cent engineers are employable, while 30 per cent can be made employable after further studies, whereas 48 per cent are simply not employable.