Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India is successfully implementing Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scheme since 2010. The scheme covers students in the age group of 10-32 years and has five components. The first component, INSPIRE Award aims to motivate students, in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10, to pursue Science and a career in Research.
The INSPIRE Award - MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) is being revamped and executed by Department of Science & Technology and National Innovation Foundation-India to align it with the action plan for "Start-up India" initiative launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India. The scheme aims to help build a critical human resource pool for strengthening, expand science and technology system and increase the research & development base on the same by inviting students from all government and private schools throughout the country and enabling them to send their original & creative technological ideas/innovations on the same.
Under the INSPIRE AWARDS - MANAK Scheme, students will be invited from all government or private schools throughout the country, irrespective of their educational boards (national and state) to send original and creative technological ideas/innovations focusing on common problems and come up with solutions on their own., be it household or for porters, labourers, society or the likes. Once the student has thought of an idea, he/she can submit their ideas to the Principal/Headmaster of their schools.
This scheme will be operationalised as per the following steps:
- Awareness and capacity building of district and State level functionaries in five zones through regional workshop and audio-visual tools and literature.
- Organising internal competitions in schools and nominations of two to three best original ideas, in any Indian language, by respective the Principal/Headmaster online through E-MIAS (E-Management of INSPIRE Award Scheme) portal.
- Forwarding of nominations by district / State authorities to Department of Science & Technology through E-MIAS.
- Shortlisting of top 100,000 (one lakh) ideas, with potential to address societal needs through Science & Technology, by National Innovation Foundation (NIF). Disbursement of INSPIRE Award of INR 5,000 into bank accounts of students through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme by DST.
- Organisation of District Level Exhibition and Project Competition (DLEPC) by district/State authorities and shortlisting of 10,000 best projects / ideas for State Level Exhibition and Project Competitions.
- Organisation of State Level Exhibition & Project Competition (SLEPC) for further shortlisting of top 1,000 projects. Disbursement of INR 20,000 to student of each project through DBT for development of improved prototypes for the National level event. Selection of projects will be based on novelty, applicability, user and eco-friendliness and advantage over the existing technologies.
- Mentoring support to students at State level by NIF, in coordination with reputed academic and technology institutions of the country, such as, IITs, NITs, IISERs, Central Universities, etc., for development of prototypes.
- Showcasing 1,000 best projects at National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) and shortlisting of top 60 prototypes/projects for national awards and future direction.
- Evaluation of top 60 ideas by NIF for product/process development and their linkage with other schemes of NIF/DST.
- Display of top innovations at the annual Festival of Innovation (FOIN) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Children will be encouraged to come up with creative ideas on their own. Parents or teachers can also play an important role in proposing a problem to the child or help in converting his/her idea into a prototype/model but not suggest the idea themselves.
The teachers many also look up INSPIRE (http://www.inspireawards-dst.gov.in/Userp/inspire-downloads.aspx) to see if the projects being developed by their wards have been not recognised already. This will help ensure originality and maintain the standard of the competition.
The principal/headmaster of the school will call for submission of ideas in the form of project synopsis from the students of the designated classes and age groups. Once the prototype/model is ready, the students may thus submit ideas to their respective schools. The students are encouraged to submit as many entries as they wish.
While selecting the projects the principals and jury members should bear in mind the degree of novelty of the idea, its social applicability and end use, environmental implications, potential impact, scope for diffusion through commercial and/or non-commercial channels, relevance to existing government schemes etc. may be considered.
All nominations will be submitted online through E-MIAS portal on DST (http://www.inspireawards-dst.gov.in). Schools which haven't registered may also register themselves on this portal. Schools shall organise idea competitions and the principal/headmaster of these will recommend two-three ideas to the district-level authorities. The district-level authorities will progress original innovations and ideas on E-MIAS portal.
The selection criteria will be based on innovation, creativity and novelty of the project that a student proposes to undertake, as submitted in the synopsis. DST/NIF will make conscious effort to represent girls and students belonging to SC/STs.
In order to submit the entries, the following details should be clearly mentioned:
- School name and address
- Home address and contact number
- Title of the project/idea/innovation
- Detailed description
- Diagrams/sketches/photos, if any
- Simple declaration that the project has been done by the student himself/herself without any guidance from the teacher or parents.
Timeline for submission of projects: Suitable instructions will be provided for the submission of projects from time to time. For more details, please go through scheme operationalisation and the timeline.
INSPIRE Awards comprises of the following stages:
- Inviting nominations as per revised format - September 1-30 2016
- Processing of nominations and transfer of award money - October 1-31
- Organisation of D/SLEPCS - November 1-20
- Organisation of NLEPCs - 1st week of December
- Display/demonstration of top 60 projects at the Festival of Innovation (FOIN) scheduled to be held during March 2017.
After the awards are announced and conferred, the awarded projects/ideas will be displayed in an exhibition in which working or illustrative models and/or posters in case of ideas will be exhibited. Award money will be disbursed to students through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme to their bank accounts.
In order to create awareness of INSPIRE Awards - MANAK scheme amongst the people, regional workshops and innovation workshops. The regional workshops will be organised prior to the submission of entries for the competition and the participants comprising of teachers, principals, district and state-level functionaries will be informed about the revised scheme and sensitised about the need for innovation.
As on date regional workshops have been successfully conducted in Central, Eastern, Western, Northern regions and upcoming workshop will be held in Southern region soon.
During the innovation workshops at various R&D and engineering institutions, organised before the national level event, the focus will be on teaching children the basics about prototype development and improving the quality of products displayed at national-level exhibition. Children will also learn in the process through interactions with engineering and design students and faculty of institutions.