India has always been the land of inventors. Indians, the masters of jugaad (makeshift), can match and even outperform anyone in the world when it comes to solving problems creatively, frugally and sustainably. The Indian startup and innovation landscape has seen young inventors blossom over the past few years. A few months ago, WitBlox, a Robotics Ed-Tech startup based in Mumbai in collaboration with Techfest IIT Bombay started the competition — WitBlox Young Inventor Techfest 2020. The competition was aimed to harness the creative ability among the young minds of this generation. To participate in this competition, the students had to find an idea based on any one of the 4 themes — Safe Community Living, Innovation in Farming, Kitchen Automation & Home Automation and submit their prototype projects on the WitBlox App.
Participants had to identify a problem, propose their idea, and build a working model on their selected idea. More than 1200 young students from 50+ cities and towns all over India participated in this 3-month long competition which culminated with the Grand Finale this Saturday (Dec 19th, 2020). The top 20 finalists presented their projects and ideas before the judges using a virtual online platform. The event was live-streamed on YouTube LIVE too. While some of them have found simple and quirky solutions to problems that have stumped adults, others have triggered dialogue on important social, environmental issues. Their keen observations combined with a deep sense of empathy and a flare for action has enabled them to make long strides towards creating an impact. The students presented projects related to smart shoe for the blind, anti-COVID door, automatic mask detection on faces and virtual assistant using AI in the Grand Finale. The finale was judged by Andrew Gaule (CEO of Aimava), Dr Sujit Bhattacharya (Ex-Scientist, ISRO), Subroto Sen (Ex-VP, Times of India and Unitech) and Rishabh Sinha (Founder of Techacks)
Raunak Raj from Navi Mumbai and the team of Humera & Fasiha from Himmatnagar were judged the winners of the competition and won a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- Raunak, a student of Bal Bharti Public School, Navi Mumbai had designed a Milk Spillage Spotter to present milk spilling over while boiling. The team of Humera and Fasiha, students of Rumi English High School, Himmatnagar had designed a project on waste diaper utilization in agricultural lands.
The All India Competition encouraged participants not only to conceive an idea to solve a given problem but also to execute it innovatively while making a prototype and a product. It made them more confident and prepare to face future challenges in life. One of the students in the Finale said, “It was a unique opportunity presented to young minds by Techfest IIT Bombay and WitBlox to showcase their ideas on a big stage.”
Events like these will surely help enhance the maker mindset in India and encourage more youngsters to become innovators like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, creating a positive impact in the world we live.