Stressing the need for overhauling the existing Anglo-Saxon system of education which is still prevalent in the country, NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said that experiments are under way to bring in changes and inculcate the spirit of innovation among schoolchildren.

Speaking after inaugurating the country’s largest incubation centre developed by Deshpande Foundation’s Sandbox Startups here on Wednesday, Mr. Kant said that as part of this initiative, nearly 3,000 tinkering labs are working in 3,000 schools with access to technology-driven education tools. They are already producing good results and plans are afoot to set up such labs in 35,000 schools by 2022, he said.

Mr. Kant said that positive disruption was necessary to accelerate the growth machinery. Besides reforming several laws catering to the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors to free them from unwanted hitches, positive disruption are brought in various fields with introduction of technology on a large scale. With direct benefit transfer under various social security and subsidy schemes, around Rs. 90,000 crore has been saved. Digitisation of administration is another change that is going to bring some radical changes, he said and added that India is bringing in positive disruption the world has never seen. To a query on the farm sector, he said that the goal was to improve productivity, which could be possible only through intervention of technology, different crop pattern and better water management. Sustainable innovations in agriculture was the need of the hour, he said. The problem of intermediaries should be resolved by digitising agriculture markers and only then farmers could get fair price for their produces. Easing regulatory measures and value addition are the other two factors to ensure increased income for farmers, he added.

Tata Trust advisor Manoj Kumar said that the problem that start-ups in India are facing is investment, that too in high risk innovation. Of course, more funds were not needed for working prototypes, but their commercial production demands much more investment and moreover, it would be risky because the products would have get acceptance in the market. So venture capitals and angel investors restrained from high risk capital investment, he added.

Deshpande Foundation founder-trustee Gururaj Deshpande said that access to technology has improved over the period. Entrepreneurs should interact among peers working in incubation centres and visiting mentors. Then, the chances of failure would reduce, he said.

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