The 8th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) for the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) showcasing the innovative ideas from 581 students representing various States and UT’s of the country, commenced in virtual format on Saturday.
Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, congratulated all participants and said that the country has created a robust ecosystem to nurture creativity of young innovators. “There is a huge opportunity for the young innovators to demonstrate their inherent potential. The whole purpose of the program 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 eighth edition of NLEPC corresponds to the students selected under INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) program during FY 2019-20, and owing to COVID-19, it was deferred last year. More than 1000 students attended the online programme, which will continue for five days starting on Saturday.
Dr. P S Goel, Chairperson, NIF, reiterated the significance of innovation in the present century. “Innovation is directly linked to our existence and influences every field of human activity. It is an accomplishment of Atmanirbharta and acts as a key differentiator for economies,” he said. He shared lessons from other countries like Switzerland and Israel, which will further empower the ongoing innovation movement in the country.
Mrs. Namita Gupta, Head – INSPIRE Awards – MANAK, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, highlighted that adoption of technology to drive the program per se due to the pandemic was the most prominent difference between this year’s NLEPC from previous editions. The mobile app was being used by thousands of students across the country to participate in the District, State, and National Level Exhibition and Project Competition.
Dr. Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF, acknowledged the contribution of all stakeholders viz. the State Nodal Officers (SNO’s), District Nodal Officers (DNO’s), Teachers, School Principals, Parents, Students, mentors, and the teams at DST and NIF for a collective collaboration. He expressed his gratitude towards Prof Ashutosh Sharma, former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India for his strong commitment towards making INSPIRE Awards – MANAK a grand success.
The award ceremony of the 8th NLEPC (National Level Exhibition and Project Competition) of the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK will be held in a virtual mode on 8th September 2021 wherein Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Science and Technology & Earth Sciences will give away the awards to the creative children of the country. The exhibition, which features the best of the innovative ideas from a total of 3,92,486 ideas and innovations received at the beginning of the season, is open to all and can be accessed by visiting the following link – https://nlepc.nif.org.in/community/#/login between 4th to 8th September 2021.