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National Innovation Council to create new service delivery systems

19 October 2010

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Bharat Nirman Innovation Fund has been set up to encourage innovations in India. Its nodal agency, the National Innovation Council is presently creating a gram swaraj portal that will link 2.5 lakh panchayats and address core development issues.

Bangalore: With a mandate to formulate a roadmap for innovation, Karnataka - the home for bellweather IT companies, reputed science and technology institutions, and defence establishments - will have a devoted State Innovation Council soon.

The Prime Minister-appointed National Innovation Council (NInC) chairman Sam Pitroda has written to all chief ministers to take up innovation on a mission mode and catalyse an innovation ecosystem across sectors. Three prominent Bangaloreans - Narayana Hrudayalaya founder Devi Shetty, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Planning Commission member K Kasturirangan - are part of the 17-member council.

At its first meeting last month, the NInC decided to set up a $1-billion Inclusive Innovation Fund - likely to be renamed Bharat Nirman Innovation Fund - to support innovations aimed at generating solutions for the bottom of the pyramid. A second fund will be directed towards five to six national challenges requiring innovation.

One national challenge identified by the NInC is to create a multi-lingual gram swaraj portal as core content for rural broadband that will connect all 2.5 lakh panchayats in the next two years. The core content will include information support for employment, education, health, upgrading skills of grassroots functionaries, real-time feedback on delivery of public services, computer-based literacy testing programmes, and an e-library at the panchayat level.

"While we are increasingly witnessing innovative sparks in the system, as a nation, we still lack an organizational culture of innovation. India needs more frugal innovation that produces more frugal cost products and services that are affordable, without compromising on their safety, efficiency and utility," Pitroda said.

What Bangaloreans are doing

Former ISRO Chairman Kasturirangan is working on innovation in three strategic departments of atomic energy, space, and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He will also draw a blueprint on setting up a Directorate for Management of Innovations in each of these departments. Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has mooted the idea of making clinical trials part of the curriculum of medical students.

On the anvil

  • July 24 likely to be declared National Innovation Day
  • IIT Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande to submit proposal on innovation centres at universities
  • Innovation portal to be set up; will be a platform for information documentation, interaction and collaboration
  • Sectoral innovation councils to be formed
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