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 across the country through regional workshop and audio-visual tools and literature.
- Organising internal competitions in schools and nomination 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 (www.inspireawards-dst.gov.in) portal.
- The new schools may also register themselves on E-MIAS portal.
- Forwarding of nominations by District/State authorities to Department of Science and Technology through E-MIAS.
- Shortlisting of top 1,00,000 ideas, with potential to address societal needs through Science & Technology, by NIF. Disbursement of INSPIRE Award of INR 10,000 into bank accounts of students under Direct Benefit Transfer scheme.
- Organisation of District Level Exhibition and Project Competition (DLEPC) by District/State authorities and shortlisting of 10,000 best ideas/innovations for State Level Exhibition and Project Competitions (SLEPC).
- Organisation of State Level Exhibition & Project Competition (SLEPC) for further shortlisting of top 1,000 ideas/innovations. At this stage, NIF will provide mentoring support to students for the development of prototypes, in coordination with the reputed academic and technology institutions of the country..
- Selection of ideas/innovations will be based on novelty, social applicability, environment friendliness, user friendliness and comparative advantage over the existing similar technologies.
- Showcasing 1,000 best ideas/innovations at National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) and shortlisting of top 60 prototypes/innovations for national awards and future direction.
- Consideration of top 60 ideas/innovations by NIF for product/process development and their linkage with other schemes of NIF/DST and display of top innovations at the Annual Festival of Innovation and Entreprenureship (FINE) 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 may also look up EMIAS portal (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.
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.
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.
Timeline for submission of ideas/innovations: Online nomination for the year 2021-22 has been opened. The schools will be able to submit their nominations till October 15, 2021.
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.
The innovation workshops will be organised before the national level event at various R&D and engineering institution. The focus will be on teaching the children basics about prototype development and improving the quality of products displayed at national-level exhibition. In this process children will gain knowledge by interacting with students and faculty form various engineering and design institutions.