New Delhi: Dr Chintan Vaishnav, will be taking over Ramanathan Ramanan later this month as the director of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the flagship initiative of NITI Aayog. The socio-technologist is presently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US.
Vaishnav is an engineer trained to understand and build large-scale systems, with both human as well as technological complexities. As a teacher, innovator, and entrepreneur, he has first-hand experience of the innovation ecosystem, both in India and the US. Over the past decade, he has split his time between teaching and research at MIT and living and working with rural communities in India to build solutions that can overcome constraints fundamental to improving human conditions. He holds a PhD in technology, management, and policy from MIT.
He has co-founded both commercial and non-profit organisations, and advised startups, corporations, and governments on tackling challenges at the intersection of technology and systems, development, and public policy.
AIM’s mission is to create and promote a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. Over the past four years, since its inception, AIM’s various initiatives have achieved notable successes.
So far, AIM has established 72,59 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across 650 districts, providing over 3.5 million students access to emerging technologies. It has also operationalised 68 Atal incubators, fostering over 2000 startups, of which 625 are led by women. AIM selected 56 Atal New India and ARISE Challenge winners for product innovations with socio-economic impact, and initiated establishment of 20 Atal Community Innovation Centres to spur community-centric innovations addressing needs of rural India.
It has established one of the largest voluntary Mentors of Change networks, with over 5,000 mentors nationwide and more than 30 corporate and international partners. It has also established strategic collaborations with other stakeholders to support its initiatives.