First Young Innovators Program (YIP) held at IIT Kharagpur

#IITKgp_YIP17 witnessed multifaceted solutions from school students for real-life challenges

IIT Kharagpur recently witnessed the feat of young minds coming up with solutions to solve some of the most relevant challenges in economic, social and scientific domains of our time. The first edition of the Young Innovators Program was successful in gathering students from different parts of the country to innovate, learn and inspire. 
“YIP was conceptualized in the lines of proposing solutions for global warming, climate change and resource crisis and other challenges which have been constantly bothering the progress of a country like India. The challenge was thrown open to students from Class 8, 9 and 10 to assess the creative ability in attempting such solutions and discover their potential as the future innovators of India,” said 3rd-year student Piyush Nanda from the organizing student body of Branding and Relations Cell. 
YIP invited innovations in the diversified themes of Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Biotechnology and Hardware modeling. 
Prof. Baidurya Bhattacharya, Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs & International Relations, who inspired the concept of this event emphasized in his inaugural speech, on the importance of innovation in the advancement of civilization giving examples of innovations which are all around us in mathematics, music, avionics, transportation, computing, knowledge economy.
The students came up with ideas ranging from utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to solve some of the most crucial problems bothering the society to come up with energy generation and utilization systems that can help us reduce the carbon footprints and increase efficiency parallelly. 
The Winner of #IITKgp_YIP17, Lakshmi School from Tamil Nadu, proposed to create a device that shall detect oil spills in oceans and to successfully collect the crude oil and deploy it for various purposes. This would also help protect the marine ecosystems from the harmful consequences caused due to oil spills and increase the efficiency of detecting oil spills.
Laxmi Amirtham, the coordinating teacher of the winning team, thanked IIT Kharagpur for initiating such a competition in India which will inspire generations of young minds. The schools urged IIT Kharagpur to expand the scope of the competition in the years to come.
The Winner and two Runners-up teams were given mementos and cash awards by IIT Kharagpur.
The 1st Runners-up Mother’s Public School from Odisha proposed an Alcohol detection system that incorporates image recognition algorithms to shut down vehicular engines when drowsiness is detected in eyes. 
The 2nd Runners-up Crossword School from Andhra Pradesh proposed the use of electrical engineering to create a surface with temperature variation and used to design a push cart which is affordable to street vendors and functional in preserving fruits and vegetables right under the sun.
The proposals from 3 other finalists included
? Carmel Junior High School of Jamshedpur used frugal engineering for designing design rovers that can commute in extreme conditions. 
? VIBGYOR indicator incorporating state-of-art Internet of Things to reduce resource wastage and spread evidence-based awareness. The project was presented by Sanskriti the Gurukul from Assam
? Chinmaya Vidyalaya from Tamil Nadu proposed the application of piezoelectric effect and spring-mass oscillation system for convenient changing of mobiles during travel against the technologies of power bank and socket charging of moving vehicles.
Some of the other notable project proposals which made it to the semi-finals held at IIT Kharagpur were:
? Security systems that make the owner aware of possible threats to items of value. 
? Robots that attempt to assist farmers in agricultural fields and ensure proper resource utilization and reduce the human workforce. 
? Hydroponic systems that can help us grow food crops with the requirement of fertile land. Water filtration systems that require least of the resources to be operated. 
? Flash Light designed to operate harnessing heat energy of our body. 
? Wheelchair that can be moved with movement of hands. 
? Cooling systems that can operate without huge inflow of electric energy and also mitigate emissions of CFCs. 
? Safe and eco-friendly cities for pedestrians. 
? Energy production using unconventional inputs ranging from sound to water. 
? Smart shoes for arthritis patients. 
The competition had two initial rounds in addition to the two rounds being held at the IIT Kharagpur campus. After an initial outreach to 1500 schools, proposals from about 250 teams from all over India, were considered for evaluation. 60 teams were shortlisted for the second round based on the concept note of the project prepared by the students. In the second round, the students presented detailed project synopsis based on which 24 teams were selected for the semifinal round.
The semifinal and final rounds were held at IIT Kharagpur from October 27-29, 2017.
The students had a flavour of the innovative research at the Product Analytic and Modelling (PAM) Lab at the School of Engineering Entrepreneurship of the Institute. They participated in a workshop on Robotics organized by the Institute’s Robotics Society. There also had a demonstrative session on the National Digital Library of India (NDLI), an MHRD project developed and managed by IIT Kharagpur with more than 1.25 crore individual contents. The students visited the Science and Technology Museum at IIT Kharagpur where they will be introduced to the cultural heritage of India’s first IIT which started its journey in a detention camp of freedom fighters and over decades grew to be one of the world-renowned educational institutions making its mark on successive technological advancements and progressive research.