Industry, academicians and students need to pursue innovation to meet the challenged of the future. Those wishing to make their mark should aim at the basic problems and find their solutions. As a center of education and industry, there exists large pool of talent in Pune which is why the city can become a innovation hub as well. Encouraging innovation is a must to make ‘Make in India’ campaign a success. This was the inference drawn from a day-long conference involving industry experts, academicians and student on Saturday.
The conference, titled CII Innovation Meet and an initiative of CII Pune Industry-Institute-Interface (I3) Panel, was held at the Army Institute of Technology (AIT) in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The faculty members of engineering colleges, industry representatives and student community attended the meet in large numbers. The event also had a project exhibition of students who were later given awards for their projects. In all, 47 projects were showcased in the exhibition of which 13 were from AIT.
Those speaking at the occasion included Brig (Retd) S K Lahiri, Director Army Institute of Technology and Convenor, CII I3 Panel, Dr. Parag Kulkarni, industrialist and consultant, Dr. B B Ahuja, Officiating Director of College of Engineering, Pune and Ajay Sharma, Associate Vice President, Bharat Forge while Air Commodore (Dr) Sanjay Kumar, Raman Kumar, founder chairman, Ador Welding Academy Pvt. Ltd., Shrikant Bairagi, convenor, CII Pune MSME Panel, Datta Kuvalekar, Director, Forbes Marshall Pvt. Ltd., Siddharth Jagtiyani, founder, Chief Technical Officer, McruiseOn, G S Kalsi, CEO, Continuity1 spoke in a panel discussion on ‘Design Your Thinking to Future’.
In his inaugural address, Brig. (Retd.) Dr. S K Lahiri said, “An innovation begins with curiosity and 95 percent innovation is incremental. In AIT, we are preparing our students for skill which industry itself has not adopted. We have industry sponsored inter-disciplinary projects and an incubation center is started this year. As a result, nine patents have been filed so far from AIT and 5 out of them were by students.” He detailed out various measures to encourage innovation in students and said that Pune has so much talent that there was no reason why we can’t promote a culture of innovation.
Dr. Kulkarni said, “Innovation is the creativity at work which keeps the stakeholders motivated. Knowledge is voluntary and not conscripted. We teach the students everything but not the thinking. Can we teach the students to think?” He also said that the Innovation begins with the problem and the reason we have less innovation is that we are trying to treat manifestations and not the basic problems.
Dr. Ahuja gave out an outline of various steps taken in COEP to allow students and faculties to have innovate ideas. He said, “Innovation is for everyone. Successful innovation is about creating value. Innovation is necessary for survival in the globalized world. The new age challenge for all faculty is to prepare students for jobs that do not exist today”.
Ajay Sharma focused on the needs of defense industry with regard to innovative products. He said, “There is lack of environment for innovative ideas in India but things are changing now. In defense, it is more important to be innovative to be ahead of others because many technologies are shared by other players. India has many security threats and we need an unified organization to assess these threats and face them. We need an organization to look at the innovative ideas as products.” As a solution to increasing the innovation in product making, he advised that practical oriented learning should be promoted.