I will tell you an interesting experiment that we have done. Do you think research and technology and innovation can happen only in CDRI, in ITRC, in NBRI, in CIMAP,
Therefore, in the year 2000 we created, what is called a National Innovation Foundation- for whom? For grass root innovators which include artisans, farmers, school dropouts and so on. The movement is led by an exceptional leader and a human being, Anil Gupta from Indian Institute of Management, Ahamedabad whom I call a modern Gandhi. He does Shodha Yatras in villages, walking 15-20-25 kilometers in a day, seeing what villagers have innovated. National Innovation Foundation holds national competition for grass root innovators. In the first year when we had the competition, we just had five thousand entries across the country. Year before last, one lac entries came, out of which we picked up the top 30 and gave them awards. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, while he was the President, gave the last two national awards. We are hoping that this year our current President will give the awards.
And believe me, out of these awardees, there were so many illiterates. We have seen one 8th standard drop out schoolboy create a robot, one of the most complex robots. In fact Dr. Kalam himself was surprised at what he saw.