Need to make children innovation-ready to tackle the challenges of 2047: MoE’s Anita Karwal at the launch of School Innovation Councils by MoE, CBSE, and AICTE

New Delhi:  Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Thursday jointly launched the School Innovation Council (SIC) and recognized 12,800+ school teachers across India as Innovation Ambassadors. The SIC is an initiative by the apex education bodies of India to build the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem with our schools.


The establishment of SICs in schools is a step aligned with the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to promote ideation, out-of-box thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship, at the school education level in a sustainable manner.


Smt. Anita Karwal, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, MoE, said, “The demographic dividend we talk about is available till 2047. We don’t know what challenges the future holds, and thus, it’s important that every child becomes creative and open to innovation. We have to go beyond textbooks, which are one of the tools to develop innovative abilities. I urge parents and teachers to get children closer to what is happening around them and participate in everything that will stimulate and develop their competencies. The new national curriculum framework will introduce a highly-reduced, core-essential curriculum, so the children can engage in developing 21st-century skills apart from studies.”


Expressing his delight about the ‘Triveni Sangam’ of all apex education bodies for the launch, Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE said, “We are glad to announce that this initiative will foster a culture of ideation, innovation, entrepreneurship, creative thinking, design thinking, prototyping, out-of-box thinking, and IP commercialization even within school children. I find that the curiosity in young minds gets depleted as we move higher up, so how do we keep inquisitiveness alive and kicking? We must encourage innovation in classrooms and conduct examinations in a way that are not based on rote learning.”


Nidhi Chhibber, Chairperson, CBSE said, “The SIC is a unique connector for the schools, academia, industry, HEIs, experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs to come together and work in unison to make disruptive progress in I&E ecosystem at the school level. This, I feel, was missing. We have been talking of innovation centers and startups at the HEI level but to bring it to school kids is the right way forward. It will create a solid foundation for them in creative thinking and innovation thinking when they move out of schools to HEIs and then the industry.”


12800+ teachers were also honoured during the launch ceremony as innovation ambassadors with superior mentoring capabilities.


Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer, MIC, said, “When we are approaching innovation ecosystem in schools, we have decided to work on four pillars in parallel: creating more and more national platforms to showcase ideas and creativity, policy intervention, innovative courses such as a design thinking curriculum, and finally, handholding and training of students and teachers through programs likes innovation ambassador training programs and School Innovation Councils.”


The MIC recommends every school across the country to establish SIC and register the same on the SIC website with these members: Chairperson, Convenor/Activity Coordinator, Teacher Representatives (including Social Media Coordinator, Innovation Ambassadors trained under SIATP, and up to 5 additional members), expert representatives (Entrepreneurs and Experts) and student representatives.


The SIC calendar activities include a leadership talk & panel discussion with successful Innovators/Entrepreneurs, and field visits for program identification and prioritization. Finally, there will be an exhibition of the best POCs/Prototypes at the pan-India level and even some good startup ideas will be funded.


Dr. Elangovan Kariappan, Asst. Innovation Director, MIC said, “The current school education is heavily focused on the rote learning, rigid examination system which ignores the ever-increasing importance of creative thinking, design thinking, ideation, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The SIC’s role is to enable mindset change, awareness, and training on IIE, design thinking, startup finance, HR, and IPR among teachers and students.”


Dr. Biswajit Saha, Director (Training & Skill Education), CBSE welcomed the participants and the initiative while the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Mohit Gambhir, Director, MIC, who said, “I thank all stakeholders who have come together to stimulate innovation-oriented activities at the school level and translate India’s demographic potential into dividends.”