Niti Aayog to set up 1,000 more innovation labs this year

The Niti Aayog will set up 1,000 more Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL), meant to foster innovation, in schools across India by the end of this year to take their total number to around 1,500, a senior official said. The aim of ATLs is to "disrupt" the existing education system by fostering the spirit of innovation right from the school level, Niti Aayog's CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday. "India has jumped 21 positions in the global innovation index over the last two years. The objective of these labs is to push innovation culture vigorously at the school level," he said. Applications have been invited from all private and government schools for setting up the labs in their premises under the Niti Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission, he said. "We will select 1,000 schools this year compared to 457 schools last year.

If we receive a good number of applications, we are also open to increasing this number further," he added. Last year, the programme had received more than 13,000 applications, out of which 457 schools emerged through a competitive process. For these dedicated work spaces for students from Class 6 to 12 to acquire innovation skills, develop ideas and build prototypes using state-of-the-art equipment, each school will be given Rs 20 lakh over five years for setting up and running the labs equipped with 3D printers and other advanced equipment.

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