NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy, Dr Jitendra Singh said on tuesday that “Atal Tinkering Labs” introduced at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have proved to be game-changer for school children.
While inaugurating the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) Schools Annual Science Fair at NDCC Convention Center here, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “Atal Tinkering Labs, Atal Incubation Centres and Atal Community Innovation Centres are inculcating an innovative mindset in school children, besides supporting StartUps and innovators”.
Referring to Mentorship programmes of the Department of Science & Technology and Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) , Dr Jitendra Singh said, all these are guided with the Mantra of “Catch them Young”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which recently completed its 7th year, is complementary to the government’s vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas”.
Young minds will steer India’s future growth with Science & Technology and Innovation, the Minister today.
India’s scientific prowess is going to have a major role in the making of Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, our greatest asset is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who not only has a natural predilection for science but is also forthcoming in supporting and promoting S&T based initiatives and projects.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Science & Technology and Innovation go hand in hand and a country with a good scientific temper and R&D structure will excel in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Minister recalled that in 2019, PM Modi at 106th Science Congress, emphasised the importance of Research by adding “Jai Anusandhan” to the famous slogan “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan, Jai Vigyan”.
The S&T Minister pointed out that in the past few years, India has covered a long distance in the innovation landscape and today India has more than 1,25,000 Startups and 100+ Unicorns.
“This has been possible with the government’s various initiatives like Atal Innovation Mission and INSPIRE-MANAK Awards,” he said.
“Atal Tinkering Labs, Atal Incubation Centres and Atal Community Innovation Centres are inculcating an innovative mindset in school children, besides supporting StartUps and innovators,” he said.
With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million Children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, AIM is establishing ATLs in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
ATL is a workspace where young minds can give shape to their ideas through hands-on do-it-yourself mode; and learn innovation skills. Young children get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). ATL contains educational and learning ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) kits and equipment on science, electronics, robotics, open-source microcontroller boards, sensors and 3D printers and computers.
There are 10,000 ATLs spread across the country, with 75 lakh students actively engaged. Under the AIM, 59 Atal Incubation Centres have created over 32,000 jobs and supported more than 2,900 Startups.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the DST is also encouraging more and more students to participate in the INSPIRE- MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) Awards scheme.
“It is heartening to note that there were 7 lakh entries from across the country for the INSPIRE Awards this year and more than half of them were girl innovators. Besides, 83% of the entries were from the rural areas and this is a vindication of Prime Minister’s vision to take the Science, Technology and Innovation in the rural hinterland and at the doorsteps of Aspirational Districts and Blocks,” he said.
Dr. Jitendra Singh narrated how the Jigyasa programme is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a new India and Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) of Scientific Community and Institutions.
Jigyasa is a Student-Scientist Connect Programme implemented by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).
Dr Jitendra Singh said, these young innovators will play a crucial role in the Amrit Kaal to contribute to make India a global tech hub by 2047 when India will celebrate Hundred years of Independence.
“This 3rd Generation of post-Independence Bharat is the most fortunate as they are no longer ‘Prisoners of their Aspirations,” said Dr Jitendra Singh, adding, “These are one of the best times with India in the forefront, witnessing innovation under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi”.
The Minister expressed the hope that in the coming years, Innovation in India will play a vital role in achieving the goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy.
Dr Jitendra Singh also took a round of the stalls in the exhibition put up on the occasion and witnessed different kinds of science models prepared by the students. NDMC Chairman Shri Amit Yadav was also present on the occasion.
The NDMC Annual Science Fair is being held after a hiatus of three years due to the pandemic. The theme of the fair is “Technology and Toys”. Apart from NDMC Schools, some public schools in NDMC area, National Science Center, Science Magazine-Science Reporter and Avishkar are participating in the two-day Science Fair. Science Games, quiz, debate, health mela, science toys etc. are also attractions of Science Fair.
More than 60 exhibits are displayed in the Science Fair, showcasing the scientific temperament, aptitude and innovative minds of the future scientists. Science/Mathematics inventive exhibits, displays from Palika Tinkering Lab / Atal Tinkering Lab, and interactive workshops for students on “Fun with Science,” “Science Behind Miracles,” and exploring the wonders of science with the National Science Centre are also in the science fair.
The overarching goal of the exhibition is to educate children on “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and contribute to the education of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The Science Fair also highlighted the Digital India Mission and the objectives outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020.