President of India launches innovative “in-residence” programme for writers, artists and innovation scholars on birth day

Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi : 12-12-2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched an ‘In-Residence’ Programme for writers, artists and innovation scholars yesterday (December 11, 2013) at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of his birthday. He also kicked off a scheme to issue Smart ID Cards to residents of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The ‘In-Residence’ programme open to all Indian nationals, aims at providing writers and artists an opportunity to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan for one month and be a part of the life of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The initiative is an attempt to encourage young and upcoming writers and artists by facilitating them stay close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Programme seeks to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking and rejuvenate artistic impulses. Various activities like reading sessions, exhibitions of works of art and interaction with the residents of Rashtrapati Bhavan, etc. are also to be organized in consultation with the selected writers/artists under the scheme.

Persons with an established track record in the field of art and literature can apply. Preference would be given to writers / artists who have won national / state awards. A maximum of four writers / artists would be selected under this scheme every year.

The programme for ‘Innovation Scholars’ in residence aims to provide further impetus to grassroots innovation. The Rashtrapati Bhavan organizes an exhibition of grassroots innovation every year during the time of opening of the Mughal Gardens. The President gives awards for grassroots innovations biennially. He has also been asking Central Universities and IITs/NITs to set up Innovation Clubs. Under this new scheme, four ‘Innovation Scholars would be invited to stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan for a month. They would be provided an environment to work on projects in hand or take innovative ideas forward. They will also be assisted in establishing linkages with relevant institutions and provided mentoring and support.

Smart ID Cards are an e-governance initiative. The Cards will contain biometric information and will enable easy identification of residents without compromising on security.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the historical building of Rashtrapati Bhavan has been always a subject of curiosity for the public. Past Presidents like Rajaji and President Rajendra Prasad have taken steps to open up Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people of India. He would like to continue in this regard. The ‘In-Residence’ Programme will help provide a conducive atmosphere for creative minds to reflect and think. It will help upcoming writers and artists expand their creative talents. He expressed the hope that the programme would contribute to aesthetic as well as social benefit through the art and literature that is created while in residence at Rashtrapati Bhavan. It would also help provide innovators with necessary linkages to institutions so as to nurture and support their innovative ideas.

Full details of the ‘In Residence’ programme and application format is available on the website of the President of India: The last date for receipt of applications is January 15, 2014.

GYTI 2013 winner Maumita Bhattacharjee won ‘The Power of Shunya : Challenge for Zero’;

An all-girls team of Maumita Bhattacharjee from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Sannidhi Jhala from Indian School of Business, Mohali, emerged as the winners of the Season 1 of ‘The Power of Shunya™: Challenge for Zero’. In a competition spanning 10 weeks, this team beat 23 other teams of students from India’s premier science & technology institutes and B-schools to win the grand prize of a cash award or INR 1,000,000 (Rupees Ten Lakhs only) and an all-expense paid experiential/educative trip to the global DuPont headquarters and the Experimental Station at Wilmington, Delaware, USA. The winners were announced at the grand finale of the show that aired last weekend (Saturday, Dec 14 and Sunday, Dec 15) on ET Now and the prize money was given away by Dr Rajeev Vaidya, President – south Asia & Asean, DuPont.

Maumita Bhattacharjee from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi won GYTI 2013 too.