Speaking on the occasion the President said Innovation is the key to progress and prosperity. The process of innovation converts knowledge into social good and economic wealth. It encourages the engagement of talent with the society to improve the quality of life. India always has had a strong tradition of knowledge. Our knowledge system offer tremendous scope for research involving land-to-lab investigation and lab-to-land transfer of technology. It is important that the vast repository of indigenous knowledge is protected, documented and preserved in active collaboration with prominent practitioners of traditional knowledge.
The President said building viable linkages between formal and informal sectors also call for deepening the involvement of the leaders of technological, financial and educational sectors with the creativity of common people and young students. A Festival of Innovation has been started at the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year. It will help to provide a platform to bring different stakeholders together and make these entities active partners in inclusive innovation. The innovators participating in this programme have come from various parts of our country. I hope that an empathetic value chain for disseminating good ideas can be built upon this initiative.
The President said India has the potential to be at the forefront of innovation. The encouraging steps in this direction notwithstanding, our country lags behind many others. India is ranked 76th in the Global Innovation Index 2014, much below China which is at the 29th position. Even Russia, at the 49th place and Brazil at 61, performed better than us.
The President called upon all the innovators present here to continue generating ingenious solutions to overcome poverty, create employment and make the society healthier, happier and harmonious.
On the occasion, a total of 41 awards were given to 40 innovators and 6 communities. The President gave away 16 National, one lifetime achievement and one posthumous award.
After the award ceremony the President also inaugurated the Innovation Exhibition at Rashtrapati Bhavan. This will remain open for the public till 13th March, 2015.