Chirag Falor and Abhinav Baranwal, students of Aakash Institute which is one of the leading test preparatory services, were chosen to attend the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme — Dhruv. A group of students, including Falor and Baranwal, were felicitated by the Vice-President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, and HRD Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, for their excellent contribution in the field of Science and Arts. Dhruv is a unique programme to identify talented students and mentor them at the centre of excellence for 14 days so that they can reach their full potential and work for society in a better way. The programme was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 10, 2019 at ISRO headquarters, Bengaluru.
Talking to Falor and Baranwal, we find out more about their experience of being a part of the prestigious programme and how it has added value to their lives and career prospectus.
Falor explains that the Dhruv programme was started by the Government of India to identify and encourage talented students to enrich their skills and knowledge. “We were 60 students, 30 from the Science stream and 30 from Arts, all from various schools across India from Std IX to X,” says Falor. He points out that there were many students, and they had vivid ideas and experiences to share. The project that the students worked on was based on climate change. “Understanding the different perspectives of climate change and how to tackle it differently was an eye-opener for most of us,” says Falor.
The project that they worked on was Cheap Eon Sensors. And even though they were a part of the Science group and are interested in Physics, both of them got a chance to interact with students from the Arts group which led to newer conversations and ideas.
Baranwal points out that such initiatives help youngsters to realise how innovation acceleration has become an important part of research and development in India. “Our society runs on innovation, which can actually add value to the lives of people who are affected by climate change,” says Baranwal. He believes that people need to focus more on the solution than just talk about the problem. “It is through such programmes where young minds start thinking differently, but all in one direction — for a better future of human beings,” says Baranwal.
Falor points out that innovation can lead to a better future and research can guide us to solve our problems. “We now live in a different century, we cannot use the old ways to solve new-age problems, we need to come up with our own ideas and concepts for it,” he says.
Both believe that the youth is the driving force of change and can make a difference to the environment. “At schools and colleges, we follow textbooks and notes, but we need to step out of the four walls to realise the real problems of the world and how to tackle them,” says Baranwal. He believes that it is high time educational institutes in India started promoting innovation as a career choice, because youngsters not only need a stable job but also one which can solve a lot of the problems of the world. He strongly believes that accelerating this thought of innovation from a young age is the need of the hour. “Involvement from a younger age will lead to better results and an enhanced thought process,” says Baranwal, adding that even though their project was not as big as those at research centres, it has given them the confidence that big things are possible even when you start small.
The students point out that they not only got a hands-on experience on innovation and its benefits but also picked up skills like leadership qualities, approaching a problem, expanding their thought process and an insight into many careers that are possible through the fields of Arts and Science beyond the regular career options. Baranwal believes that being a part of the first batch of the programme will definitely boost their morale and help them achieve great success and heights in their careers they choose to get into.