The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented the 6th National Grassroots Innovations Awards, and also inaugurated the Exhibition of Innovations at the President\'s Estate in New Delhi today. The award function was organized by the National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF). These awards are presented to grassroots innovators and outstanding traditional knowledge holders. The Exhibition shall remain open to the public till March 15th. Visitors wishing to see the exhibition can enter through Gate No. 35, near North Avenue between 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. The Exhibition shall also remain open on March 12, which is a Monday and the entry is through Gate No. 35.

The award winning innovators were identified for recognition by National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) during its 6th National Biennial Competition, which ran from January 1, 2007 to January 31, 2009 and saw over 36,000 submissions.

The President gave away 15 National and one lifetime achievement award. The awards have been given in seven categories: - life time achievement, national, state, consolation, diffusion, idea, appreciation, and special student awards.

A tractor mounted machine for aerating and mixing bio-wastes, a tree pruner, an electric painting brush, improved plant varieties, a weaving machine and threshing machine for paddy are some of the selected innovations.

Along with the grassroots innovators, awards were also given to journalists for their support to the grassroots innovations movement, design, research and engineering institutes for adding value to the innovations and a law firm for facilitating Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection for these innovators.

These awards were decided after rigorous screening at different levels. All the entries were subjected to technical and patent, prior art search, to ascertain the novelty/distinction and/or cost effectiveness. The Research Advisory Committee comprising Heads of the top R&D institutions, experts from Engineering, Agricultural and Veterinary Colleges, Vice Chancellors of various Universities from all parts of India screened the short-list of potential awardees.

The NIF, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has been actively engaged in promoting creativity and innovation in our society through volunteers of the Honey Bee Network. Its primary aim is to recognize, respect and reward grassroots technological innovators and traditional knowledge experts, through which it endeavors to build a National Register of green Grassroots Technological Innovations and Traditional Knowledge practices.

This release issued at 1100 hrs.