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  • 07 Sep 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the 8th National Level Exhibition and Project Competition (NLEPC) for the INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge), has commenced.

Key Points

  • 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 the scheme the students are invited from all government or private schools throughout the country, irrespective of their educational boards (national and state).
    • It covers the students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10, to pursue Science and a career in Research.
    • An award of Rs.10,000 is disbursed into bank accounts of winning students under Direct Benefit Transfer scheme.
    • It does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level. It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent.
  • 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 Scheme:
    • The INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences.
    • 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.

  • 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.

Source: PIB

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