Innovation foundation honours bright minds at SRISTI awards

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Chairperson of the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India, RA Mashelkar on Thursday presented the 'Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award' at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).

"Vaishnav jan to tene re kahiye je, peed parayi jane re," is the opening line of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite song. On similar lines, the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) awarded bright minds who have solved people's problems through their innovations.

Mashelkar said it is for the first time that such awards are being presented to deserving people. Some 14 innovators were awarded in three categories: 1) the Socially Relevant Technological Innovation Award, 2) the More-For-Less For Many Award and 3) the Technological Edge Award.

Coordinator of SRISTI and executive vice-chairperson of the National Innovation Foundation, IIMA's Prof Anil Gupta and V-C of Gujarat Vidyapith Sudershan Iyenger shared the dais with Mashelkar.

Mashelkar said he was delighted to share his views on 'Gandhi Engineering'. "Engineering is about getting to many, speeding things up, reducing cost. What could be called Gandhi Engineering? Engineering that allows more and more people to access it."

Mashelkar said there is an increasing gap between haves and have-nots. "Despite this gap, can we create access to housing, health and other facilities?" he asked.

Prof Gupta insisted that innovators should come up with 'Open Source Content' so that no student is devoid of good content while receiving education. Around 5,000 entries from technology students representing 45 universities and institutions from 21 states were registered. Ramesh Patel of SRISTI said they received 3,000 entries from Gujarat alone.