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Use power of innovation to find solutions for India: President Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India Mar 15, 2019, 04.52 PM (IST)

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind Friday said there was a need to draw upon the power of innovation to find solutions to concerns facing the country.

President Kovind said India has to make efforts to promote an innovation culture and become an innovation society.

'As we seek to meet important developmental goals and build a caring, inclusive and happy society, we have to draw upon the power of innovation to find solutions to our concerns in diverse domains such as health, education, food security, energy access, environmental protection, and national security,' Kovind said.

He was speaking at the inauguration function of the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE).

During the function organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), he also presented national grassroots innovations awards.

'We have to make all efforts to promote an innovation culture and become an innovation society. In the wider sense, an innovation culture can be a catalyst to help us reach our goals as a society and as a nation,' the President said.

'To usher in such a culture calls for revitalizing every link in the innovation value chain. We need schools where children tinker rather than only memorise. We need work cultures where young talent looks up and questions rather than looks down and nods,' he said.

'Of course, the government will continue to provide a facilitative environment. However, an innovative idea in itself is not enough. It is important to ensure that a creative idea gets the support it needs for it's maturing, diffusion and delivery on the ground,' he added.

'Innovation itself is only the first of two key drivers to ensure that it becomes actionable. The second key driver is entrepreneurship, which needs to supplement innovation so as to deliver benefits to our fellow citizens,' Kovind said.

'We need to build an ecosystem for converting innovations into enterprises. This necessarily requires support for start-ups and for incubating young innovators. It is critical to connect all the links of incubating innovations into enterprises by providing financial, mentoring and policy support,' he said.

'To be sure, NIF has done just this in many specific cases. But, my suggestion, for the consideration of all present here is to see if we can scale up the impact of our innovations to national and perhaps even global levels,' he said.

Praising the NIF, he said it had made a big contribution to strengthen grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge since being established in 2000.

The president appreciated the efforts of grassroots innovators who were given awards at the function.