Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India, said that teachers have an obligation to dispel fear in the minds of young children that science is a tough subject, and when they spot aptitude for science amongst students, should nourish these talents. Presenting the “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research”- INSPIRE awards here today, she drew attention to two areas ofimportance namely skill building for teachers and adequate facilities in schools. She said, “As part of skill building, there should be professional training courses as well as refresher courses for teachers engaged in science education, given the rapid developments in this field. Secondly, adequate laboratory infrastructure in schools and colleges is essential for imparting good science education.”
Smt Patil reminded, “Programmes that encourage the pursuit of science disciplines are essential for a country of the dimension of India, which needs a large pool of scientists for meeting the challenges of the 21st Century. Those nations, which focus on Research and Development, and are able to make available its applications for use in various fields, will be the leaders of the future. Children with their inquisitive minds and curiosity have a freshness of thinking. It is important that you retain this quality throughout your lives.”
Giving tributes to great scientists Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Madam Curie and - her daughter Irene Curie, the President said, “You would be inspired by such examples and will look for developing new ways of looking at matter and discover new things. The construction of railways, bridges, better industrial tools, better agriculture, all are part of the application of scientific knowledge in these fields. As young students I would encourage you to look at yourselves as future scientists of the country, who through their inventions and hard work, will contribute to India's growth. Your hands and minds would shape the future that awaits!” .
Appealing to teachers the President said, “Parents and teachers can play a major role in creating interest in science. It is the method of teaching and creating the right conditions that will generate interest in the study of sciences in this country.” She appealed students to understand the importance of values in life and of working together as a team. She told them to develop good habits, show commitment and dedication to their work; show respect to elders, parents and teachers. The President explained these values will make them a good human being, which will contribute to the progress and welfare of society.
Earlier Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, appeaed to all responsible members of the society to nourish science and those who make friends with science and help the Research, Technology and Innovation system build a new India, a happy and prosperous India. He said , “This exhibition is a preview of India’s emerging capacity for innovations. The innovators participating in this event are young and school going children. They are builders of India of tomorrow. Their imagination is mind boggling. Their exhibits are all wonderful. Some had built working models, some had demonstrated concepts through delightful experiments. They bore the stamp of good thinkers. They have addressed a number of regional problems. India with a vast talent pool and large number of young people can write a new global history.”
Shri Deshmukh said, “DST would create a data base on all INSPIRE related youth and create a watch system for ensuring a possible mentoring support for those who wish to become scientists and researchers.”
Expressing his concern at the number of scientists in the country, Shri Ashwanikumar, Minister of State for Science and technology and Earth Sciences said, “In the area of Super computer technology too, both India and China were in a similar position in 2007. Now India is far behind China with respect to its capacities for speed and power of computation. I find comparative statistics between China and India compelling. We are all aware that China has made substantial investments in education during the last 20 years. In 1985, China was producing fewer than 300 PhDs in science and engineering per year. At that time, India was awarding about 4500 PhDs in Science and Engineering areas. By 1996, China caught up with India with respect to the number of PhDs produced and has now scaled this up to 18,000 per year. I understand that the number of full time Equivalents of Research and Development professionals in India is currently only around 1,70,000. Corresponding figures for nations like China are approximately about 13 lakhs. We need to expand the number on an urgent basis.”
He added , “ It is critical for the S&T community to provide technological solutions to meet the challenges arising out of depleting natural resources on one hand and on the other, to meet the aspirational goals of a young nation with a population of 1.2 billion. INSPIRE bears the right scale and size for the country, connecting with and involving the age group of 10-32 years. It provides assured opportunity for careers with research for post- doctoral scholars. More than a million are connected through this scheme over a period of five years. I am convinced that the scheme should be continued in the 12th Plan with even greater vigor.”
The INSPIRE Award scheme targets to encourage, over a five year period, one million children in the age group of 10 to15 years to innovate small science projects. The first ever National Level Exhibition of the school children was organized here for 3 days. This year more than two lakh students, from schools all over the country, participated in this scheme and 750 were selected for this National Level Exhibition.
In the National INSPIRE Awards Category, the first award was given to Coil Shreyansh Jain of Rajasthan (State) for Tesla model. The second national award winner was Assam’s Morson Rongpi for Pressure Miracle model. They received gold and silver medal, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively and each got a merit certificate and laptop. The third award of bronze medal was given to Owais Ahmed Dar of Jammu & Kashmir for pressure energy and Punjab’s Jaspreet Kaur for Energy Saving Device.
I n the Regional INSPIRE Awards Category the awards were-
South region, , A.Manasa from Andhra Pradesh got for Automatic Street Lights and Naveen D.S. from Karnataka got for Death Free Solution. In Central region, Zunaid Ali from Chattisgarh got for Electricity Free Mixer and Hitesh Devani from Rajasthan got for , Adarsh Petroleum Plant . In In North region category, Arsh Shah Dilbagi from Haryana got for Compact Unmanned Exploring and Renuka , Bahuddeshiya Chara of Haryana got for Machine and Motor Vehicle. In North-East region, Master Suman Subba from Sikkim got for T1c-Car (21st Century Car) and Miss Simran Pradhan from Sikkim got for Streamline Flow Of Liquid Under Gravity. In East region Biplab Shit of West Bengal got the award for Controlling Overloaded Vehicle and Meenu Kumari from Jharkhand got for Transformation of Energy .In West region, Rahul Prakash Bagul of Maharashtra got for , Energy saver multi winnowing me from waste management and Utkarsh Vilas Kaklij from Maharashtra got for Home appliance control system.