The Festival of Innovation (FOIN) is a unique initiative of the Office of the President of India to recognise, respect and reward grassroots innovations and foster a supportive ecosystem.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the FOIN at Rashtrapati Bhavan today lauding the contributions of the grassroots innovators. Thanks to the support of his office, the FOIN has become a national celebration of creativity and innovation at and for grassroots. Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India exhorted all segments of the Indian society to converge their efforts to make India inclusive, innovative and responsive to the aspirations of common people. While addressing the Global Roundtable on Inclusive Innovation attended by top innovation leaders of the world and several Nobel laureates during last two years, he has stressed the need for learning and sharing the global experience in designing, developing and delivering empathetic and inclusive innovations for the common good. He believes that while India has to learn a lot of lessons from the countries that rank on the top in the global innovation index, India has also a lot to share in terms of frugal and grassroots innovations. That is one of the ways in which Indian innovation quotient may go up.
He asked Dr Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO to see how grassroots creativity also gets measured na docunted in the construction of Innovation Index. Dr Gurry was the guest of honour at the Third FOIN.
It is imperative that India becomes a growth engine for the world and provides a new model of inclusive development by providing a large number of open technological and other solutions for the developing and developed world. In sync with the policies of the government of India, FOIN will provide a window to the creative and innovative solutions for social development through grassroots innovations, student ideas and other technologies for agriculture, rural development, sanitation, health, women and child development, biotechnology and medical innovation for grassroots.
The Decade of Innovation (2011-20) is characterised by various initiatives taken by the Government of India and the President’s House to promote innovation, particularly grassroots innovation, in the country and forge its linkages with higher education system. The National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India has been organising an exhibition of grassroots innovation every year since 2010, in collaboration with the Honey Bee Network institutions, volunteers and the Department of Science and Technology [DST] at the President’s House. The purpose is to expose the visitors to the pervasive culture of creativity and innovation in India.
Many central universities and NITs have organised exhibitions of grassroots innovators during the visits of the Hon’ble President there and have already set up National Innovation Clubs in their campuses. Perhaps India is the only country where grassroots innovators are hosted at the President’s House to convey a message that the country cares for the creativity of the common people. With the support from NIF, the President’s Secretariat has successfully organised three editions of the Innovation Scholars In-Residence Programme, during 2014 – 2016. The fourth edition of the programme begins on March 4, 2017 involving two week – long stay of 10 innovators at the President’s House. These innovators, including school children, grassroots innovators and college students, are mentored during their stay. The policy and institutional linkages are forged to scale up their ideas.
National Innovation Foundation-India and other Honey Bee Network institutions including SRISTI and GIAN support all the activities of the FOIN. The FOIN 2016 brought together creative and innovative voices from across the world. Indian contributions were highlighted and at the same time lessons were learnt which could help India in its march towards a socially and economically developed society. President Mukherjee stressed that samevedana ( empathy) led srijansheelta ( creativity) lies at the heart of inclusive Indian density.