An Innovation Cell in the Ministry of Human Resource Development will be created to further strengthen the innovation efforts. It will be headed by a Scientist and comprise of a senior Ministry official and young professionals who bring to the table new ideas in promoting innovation.This was stated by Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar after a high level review meeting here today.The decision comes close on the heels of India moving 6 ranks up in the Global Innovation Index Ranking from 66 in 2016 to 60 in 2017, out of 127 countries. This increase has happened for the 2nd year in succession and it coincides with the launch of the Smart India Hackathon by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in coordination with other Ministries.Under the Global Innovation Index 2017, India has improved its standing in innovation inputs and innovation efficiency. The strongest points for the country happened to be a large number of science and engineering graduates, the increased investment by Global R&D companies in India, the improved QS University rankings and high rank in the highly cited research publication, global leadership in the IT service experts and leadership in export of creative goods.
“There has been considerable improvement in India’s ranking in Global Innovation Index 2017. Since the large part of Global Innovation Index relates to Education, the setting up of Innovation Cell in the Ministry will lead to more focused attention on innovation and research efforts,” Shri Javadekar said.“The Government's renewed emphasis on innovation as a measure to improve the economic growth and the standard of living, is bearing fruit. Six new Research Parks have been sanctioned in various premier institutions. There are more than 120 Technology Business Incubators covering all the institutions in the country,” the Minister said.The focused attention of the Government to allocate more funds through Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) for fast tracking Innovation and Research infrastructure in country’s top central technical institutions and Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) to 1000 top students from these institutions will give further push to India’s Innovation and Research efforts and also help prevent brain-drain, the Minister added.The Tinkering labs have been started in all higher education institutions and under the NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission, Tinkering Labs are sanctioned at the school level.The Smart India Hackathon 2018 has seen a huge increase in participation with more than one lakh students submitting innovative inputs for the problems posed. Hardware Hackathon has been added in the current year thereby making way for new product creation. More than 20,000 students have participated in the Hardware Hackathon contest which is being led by IIT Kharagpur.