IIT Kharagpur’s Young Innovators Program Sails High across Asia

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IIT Kharagpur is all set to welcome close to one hundred finalists from across Asia for the grand finale of the Young Innovators Program scheduled on November 8-10, 2019. This international science and technology competition witnessed a participation of close to 2500 students in class VIII-X in the previous rounds from an initial outreach of more than 4500 schools globally. Apart from various regions in India, students from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE, Saudi Arabia participated in the event.

The one-of-a-kind competition has been highly appreciated across secondary educational fraternity and corporate R&D leaders as a co-curricular educational program giving direction to the career aspirations of the students. It focuses on school students developing working models and prototypes of innovative solutions for technological challenges in the domains of Energy and Environment, Health and Cleanliness, Hardware Modelling, Product Design and Disaster Management. Each of these themes is targeted towards encouraging the participants to understand the importance of these areas and be equipped with the ability to ideate and come up with innovative solutions having local and global relevance.

Teachers from several participating schools emphasized the ability of this competition to entice the creativity of the students. The teachers have been mentoring the students beyond the normal course curricula for in-depth learning in their project domains. The students pursue various self-learning modes and experimentations as well. Some of the students even continue to work on their projects and nurture their career goals towards fulfilling their innovative ideas. Radha G of GIIS Smart Campus, Singapore spoke about how the competition encourages students to think out of the box, to be creative and to work collaboratively.

“It is a great initiative that helps inculcate the 21st century skills among the young,” she said.

The competition has received words of appreciation from President of India and an Israeli diplomat as well.

“YIP is a program very close to our hearts. I have been fortunate to have been involved in this program since its inception in 2017, first as an evaluator and then as an organizer. In just a period of 3 years, the program has gone from strength to strength and spread its presence not only across the country but also different countries in ASEAN and Middle East. The level of innovation displayed by the students and the maturity of their thought process at such tender ages is mind blowing.” said Anandaroop Bhattacharya, the Associate Dean, International Relations at IIT Kharagpur whose office organizes this event.

This year a new theme has been introduced in coordination with ICICI Bank. The theme of Financial Inclusion broadens the resource base of a financial institute by bringing low-income groups, especially among the rural population, within the ambit of the formal banking sector. Talking about this theme Sudipta Roy, Head – Unsecured Loans of ICICI Bank, zeroed in on fast-evolving digital India and economic policies of Govt. of India penetrating into the weakest and deepest sections of the society.

Roy said, “These budding minds could bring to the table fresh set of ideas, novel way of looking at challenges faced by the financial sector which could lead to continuous flow of new technologies, processes and awareness. The financial inclusion theme proposed by us would instill in them an orientation towards product and process development which would benefit the entire financial sector in the long run and also evolve next-generation fintech leaders.”

By Shreyoshi Ghosh

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