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INSPIRE Awards

  • 19 Sep 2022
  • 6 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the 9th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) for the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge), has commenced.

What is the INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) Award?

  • About:
    • It is aligned with the ‘Start-up India’ initiative and is being executed by DST (Department of Science and Technology) with National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of DST.
    • Under this, the students are invited from all government or private schools throughout the country, irrespective of their educational boards (national and state).
    • Financial support of Rs 10,000 each would be provided so that they could develop prototypes of the ideas which they submitted for the scheme.
    • As a next step, they competed at respective District Level Exhibition and Project Competition (DLEPC) and State Level Exhibition and Project Competition (SLEPC) and finally National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC).
  • Aim:
    • To motivate students to become future innovators and critical thinkers.
  • Objectives:
    • To target one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking among school children.
    • To address the societal needs through science and technology and nurture them to become sensitive and responsible citizens and innovation leaders of tomorrow.
  • INSPIRE Awards 2022:
    • The INSPIRE Awards were presented to 60 Start-Ups and financial support was provided to 53,021 students.
    • It touched an unparalleled level of inclusivity by representing ideas and innovations of 702 districts of the country (96%) including 123 out of 124 aspirational districts, with 51% representation from girls, 84% participation from schools located in rural areas of the country and 71% of the schools run by the State / UT Governments.

What do we Know about INSPIRE Scheme?

  • The INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Its objective is to communicate to the youth population of the country the creative pursuit of science and attract talent to the study of science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and Research & Development base.
  • The Government of India has successfully implemented the INSPIRE scheme since 2010. The scheme covers students in the age group of 10-32 years and has five components.
    • The INSPIRE Awards- MANAK is one of its components.

What are the Other Related Initiatives?

  • Draft National Science Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020:
    • Its aim is to identify and address strengths and weaknesses of the Indian Science Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystem to catalyse socio-economic development of the country and also make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.
  • SERB-POWER Scheme:
    • It is a scheme designed exclusively for women scientists to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research in various science and technology (S&T) programmes in Indian academic institutions and Research and Development (R&D) laboratories.
  • Swarna Jayanti Fellowship:
    • It provides special assistance and support to a selected number of young scientists with a proven track record to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Prelims

Q. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Smart India Hackathon 2017? (2017)

  1. It is a centrally sponsored scheme for developing every city of our country into Smart Cities in a decade.
  2. It is an initiative to identify new digital technology innovations for solving the many problems faced by our country.
  3. It is a programme aimed at making all the financial transactions in our country completely digital in a decade.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • Smart India Hackathon, 2017 was a 36 hour non-stop digital product development competition during which teams of thousands of technology students tried to build innovative digital solutions for the problems identified by 29 different Ministries/ Departments of GoI. Hence, statement 2 is correct and 1, 3 are not correct.
  • For the first time, government departments directly engaged with students, challenging them to build digital solutions to improve their efficiency, plug revenue leakages and corruption.
  • The ‘Grand Finale’ of Smart India Hackathon, 2017 was organized, simultaneously across 26 different cities and the winners got support for converting their ideas into startups apart from cash prizes. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB

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