Innovation is a highly overrated word, yet it is given the least priority. How many of our schools and colleges promote or even mention innovation to their students? Even being in one of the most premiere institutions of Administration, I find, here at the academy, Innovation is something that is not so much sought after! I had to be a stranger in a class of seventy people facing an acute laughter for mentioning that we lack innovation as a team!
I might not be able to really define the word, but as per the understanding that I got through a talk by Sri Anil K Gupta, member of Sristi.org/NIF and the Honeybee Network , it is a word (or idea) that idenfies anything that tries to connect the unconnected ( connecting a perfect stranger to another) in a sustainable manner. One of the best examples of a perfect stranger is the yet-to-be-born future generation and hence this definition itself has sustainability included. Innovation is something that tries to tell us to see the world through a slightly differently, to question everything and search for the answers that we never thought would have.
One point that was mentioned in the talk was that, our school textbooks does not even mention innovation in any of their lessons ! The last thing we know of innovation is either Jagadish Chandra Bose or CV Raman! It is made as if no innovation or ideas have existed in the last 80-odd years! The whole educational process and the value system needs a total rehaul to give innovation its rightful place. It is this singular notion that led me to make this post. There cannot be a 80-year period with nothing happening around. We just stopped looking for them. We somehow perceive the best inventions happen outside our country.
The talk mentioned enormous amounts of innovation happening in all parts of the country (and the world at large , of course). I was totally at awe to know that a Ist class student, named Chris Ananth has innovated a new vacuum cleaner. By innovation, he didn’t invent anything new that no one else can do, all this little boy did is to ask his parents a simple question that why can’t his whistling shoes be used to extract dust ?!
There were many examples that were shown (I hope to share some of those here, soon) where the local and village people have found nice ways to solve their problems (un-famously called as Jugaad). But these jugaads are real innovation and there is much to learn from their thoughts.
We have, for a long time, science exhibitions and fares being organised but we do not have any innovation exhibitions or ideas being shared. It is time we realize the enormous potential in our future students and grass-root people, and put them to use. It is time to bridge the gap between the ideas and their impelementation. The triangle of Innvoation-Investment-Enterprise should be brough to a singular point and have a new India come to birth.
There are tens of videos showing such grass root innovations. Please take time and go through them all. You should be able to easily find them on youtube under NIF channel or under related videos.
We need to renew this feeling and strive for innovation, from the school levels. All schools should allow the children to think out open and allow them to give us some of the solutions to problems that we are dearly looking for.
I hope we can enable such environment for the coming generations.