New Delhi, 24 April 2019: NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and UNICEF India signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) today, with the goal to provide an open platform to young children across different communities in India via the Atal Tinkering Lab initiative to orient the burgeoning innovation ecosystem towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on child rights.
The LoI was signed by Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative in India, and Mr. Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission.
Through this collaboration, AIM and UNICEF seek to promote participation, skilling and empowerment of adolescent girls and boys in and out-of-school, via Atal Innovation Mission’s programs. This strategic partnership will also help effectively build capacities of adolescents, young entrepreneurs, mentors, and teachers.
Addressing children at the ITL Public School, ahead of the signing, Dr. Yasmin revelled in the belief that every single child present would have a dream for the future. Realizing these dreams, she said, requires an education that develops critical skills in children such as analytical thinking, teamwork, and digital literacy. She further emphasized that UNICEFs partnership with AIM seeks to help children think analytically about their rights and find innovative solutions to young people’s problems.
“AIM and UNICEF shall be actively partnering towards increasing the footprint of Tinkering and Innovation in India, identifying and investing in innovative novel grassroot ideas, organizing skill development training, creating showcase opportunities for young budding innovators and creation of an innovative problem-solving mindset,” said Mr. R. Ramanan, on signing the LoI.
The focus of the partnership will be on co-creating innovative technological solutions for social problems by and for young people, scaling them up through public or private support and promoting rights of children/adolescents to information, expression and decision making. Key programming elements of this partnership include: i) Skill development, including inculcating 21st century and psychological skills in children right from school level with a focus on out of school children and in universities (ii) Co-creating solutions by investing in ‘promising ideas’ that address challenges and scale-up solutions for and by young people (iii) Social innovation boot camps for children in and out of schools and entrepreneurship boot camps for young people in incubation centers and (iv) Identifying children and adolescent role models for change based on their technology-based innovative solutions that can be co-created and scaled-up.
UNICEF shall support Atal Tinkering Labs and AIM at the grassroot level by helping schools conduct various youth-based events. UNICEF has selected 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) initiative to conduct the #ATLCommunityDay, where community children shall get a chance to understand the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals and ideate solutions via fun-filled activities. This collaboration is oriented to help kindle the spirit of creativity among young minds in India.
AIM is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. As a part of AIM, ATLs are being established in more than 5,000 schools in India where students of class 6th to class 12th acquire problem-solving and innovation skills, developing innovative solutions leveraging Tinkering technologies like 3D printers, robotics, miniaturised electronics, IOT, and programming, do it yourself kits with support from teachers.
The Atal Tinkering Lab is based on the philosophy to identify and nurture innovation in young students across the country. Towards this endeavour, AIM has collaborated with various partners from industry and academia. Such collaborations have resulted in qualitative enhancement of future skills and digital capabilities of the ATL ecosystem.
About UNICEF YuWaah:
UNICEF, an integral part of the United Nations, works with governments, communities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other partners worldwide to advance children’s rights, and is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. If every young person in India is in school, learning or training by 2030, having achieved literacy-numeracy and skills for employability, this would alter India’s socio-economic landscape. A population of 253 million aged between 10-19 years, young adults in India make up 21 per cent of the adolescent population globally. They comprise the world’s largest potential workforce.
UNICEF recently launched the global Generation Unlimited partnership aims to ensure that every young person is in some form of school, learning, training or employment/job that is suitable for his or her age by 2030, so they can reach their goals and be productive citizens. It aims to co-create and scale up proven solutions related to secondary age-education, skills for learning, employability and decent work, and empowerment, with a focus on girls. In India, this initiative recognizing the power and potential of the country’s 253 million adolescents aged 10 to 19 years is called YuWaah.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
UNICEF India relies on the support and donations from businesses and individuals to sustain and expand health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection programmes for all girls and boys in India. Support us today to help every child survive and thrive! www.unicef.in/donate