Junior innovators

 A student of Class 8, Shruti usually spends time on Facebook but is now also ideating and innovating online.  The bus ride to her school too has changed; in addition to the daily chatter, one can hear new ideas being discussed.

An innovation competition, with challenges such as finding a solution to reduce water wastage in a 100-room hotel while not inconveniencing guest comfort, is engaging Shruti’s imagination. She has to submit a solution via the internet. And her solution could fetch her a handsome reward.

US President Barack Obama recently exhorted students, gathered at a school in Philadelphia, to toil harder. He said their success would determine the country’s leadership in a world where children in Bangalore and Beijing were raring to race ahead.

If this is how advanced nations, despite having solved several of their basic problems, are recharging themselves to face  upcoming challenges, shouldn’t India respond even more emphatically?

India’s future professionals, who are in school today, need to be more innovative and more hands-on. They need opportunities which will test the ‘innovator’ in them.

A renowned innovator, recently lauded the  fact that India is on the right path of reforms, but he was quick to add that the next logical step would be to let entrepreneur-ship to thrive the way it did in the US and the UK.  According to him, entrepreneurship  is the only way India’s potential growth story could be secured into a real one.

Entrepreneurial skills and innovation would be more central in any future professional’s ability to solve and manage the affairs of the world. It does not matter if the professional is in a ‘salaried’ job — there would be few alternatives to entrepreneur-ship. JA (Junior Achievement) India Innovates is one such initiative towards this end as it helps teenagers attempt a resolution to a real life problem. Visit www.JAIndia.ideaken.com for more details.

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