Rs 1,000-cr fund sought to promote innovation

After its first meeting, chairman of the newly created Council Sam Pitroda said that he hoped to make the fund operational in six months with only 10-20 per cent funding from the Centre. The rest of the money can come from the private sector and philanthropic units.

Set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Council is aimed at energising innovation initiatives to make them a part of the national effort aimed at reducing poverty, improving governance and making development more inclusive. The Council is toying with its member Shekhar Kapur’s idea of launching a television reality show on innovation or using lakhs of train tickets issued daily to pose the innovation questions to public.

“You won’t know from where the idea will come,” said Anil Gupta, IIM-A professor and the brain behind national innovation foundation, which promotes grassroot level innovations. The Council will also help in scaling up some of the NIF products for the market, Pitroda said.
To be accorded a priority in the 12th Plan , innovation would be used as a lens to look at the economy and society and identify the challenges to solve them, said Arun Maira, NIC member.

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