581 school students showcase innovative ideas at national meet

More than 1,000 students attended the online programme which will continue for five days.

A total of 581 school students from across the country showcased their innovative ideas at the 8th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) under a government initiative aimed at fostering a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among children.

The eighth edition of NLEPC, which commenced on Saturday, showcases innovative ideas of the students selected under the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) programme during 2019-20.

It had to be deferred last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,000 students attended the online programme which will continue for five days. Department of Science and Technology (DST) secretary Renu Swarup said the country has created a robust ecosystem to nurture the creativity of young innovators.

There is a huge opportunity for young innovators to demonstrate their inherent potential. The whole purpose of the programme is to ignite a million young minds, making them part of the larger innovation-driven science and technology development within the country.

“MANAK connects students with bright ideas across the country and facilitates communication with the ignited minds. They put their ideas forward, discuss it with teachers and mentors and help solve problems of the common people,” she said.

The initiative, being executed by the DST in association with National Innovation Foundation (NIF), aims to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10 to become future innovators and critical thinkers.

NIF chairperson P S Goel said, “Innovation is directly linked to our existence and influences every field of human activity. It is an accomplishment of atmanirbharta (self-reliance) and acts as a key differentiator for economies.” The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK scheme is aligned with the ‘Start-up India’ initiative launched by the prime minister.

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