NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India’s flagship program to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, is inviting applications for ‘Mentor India’. Mentor India is as a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor schools students in 900+ Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) established by AIM in schools across India.
Through Mentor India, AIM is looking to engage leaders who can dedicate 1 – 2 hours every week in one or more such labs and enable school students to experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking. Envisaged to be the largest formal volunteer mentor network, it is aimed at maximizing the impact of ATLs. AIM is looking for corporates / professionals / academicians / students etc. who are keen to contribute to this strategic nation building initiative.
Commenting on the Mentor India initiative, Shashank ND, Founder & CEO of Practo said, “I am thrilled to support Niti Aayog‘s Atal Tinkering Labs’ and ‘Mentor India’ initiatives. India has the potential to become a major hub of innovation if we inculcate first principle thinking in young minds. I believe that this program will help lay the foundation for ground breaking innovations in the near future that can help solve some of the most pressing problems of our country and the world. I look forward to spending time with the participants and imbibing their enthusiasm and fresh thinking as well.”
ATLs are dedicated works spaces where students (from Class 6th to Class 12th) learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, IoT & sensors etc. With 900+ labs already identified, AIM will establish 2,000 such labs by end of 2017. The labs are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning. The labs will let students explore skills of future such as design and computational thinking, adaptive learning and artificial intelligence.
Mentor India has already received strong support from Corporate India. More than 30 of India’s top thought leaders have signed up as Brand Ambassadors for the initiative. More than 90 ATLs in schools across India have been adopted and are being supported by various corporations / institutions from multiple sectors. AIM is actively looking to engage with more corporations / institutions to adopt ATLs and enable their employees to join Mentor India as volunteers. Furthermore, AIM has signed a SoI with AICTE to provide mentorship support of affiliated colleges for 366 ATLs.
Possible areas of contribution from mentors include technical knowhow, innovation and design, inspirational, and business and entrepreneurship. Mentors are expected to discuss with students the various problems our Indian society is facing across multiple themes, and motivate students to develop solutions to these community problems. Mentor India program will be further extended to provide support to Atal Incubation Centres and Existing Incubation Centres as well. Proposed recognition for mentors include digital certificate of recognition, honour board for top mentors, meet and greet with prominent dignitaries and invites to Government of India events.