Chintan Vaishnav to replace Ramanathan Ramanan as director of Atal Innovation Mission
05 April 2021
Acclaimed socio-technologist Chintan Vaishnav has been appointed as the new Mission Director for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative of the Government of India under the auspices of NITI Aayog. He takes over charge from Ramanathan Ramanan, who has been leading AIM as its first Mission Director since June 2017.
Vaishnav is moving from his present assignment at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, to head AIM.
Ramanan, wno was with Tata Consultancy Services has made outstanding contributions in laying strong, scalable foundations for AIM. He has also built a robust team of talented young professionals to carry forward AIM’s mission, NITI Aayog stated in a release.
Vaishnav will be taking over as AIM’s new Mission Director from mid-April 2021, it added.
“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 various parts 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 has co-founded both commercial and non-profit organisations. He has also advised start-ups, corporations, and governments on tackling challenges at the intersection of technology and systems, development, and public policy,” the release stated.
Vaishnav holds a PhD in technology, management, and policy from MIT.
AIM seeks to create and promote a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country. With its holistic and umbrella framework, along with its organisational approach, AIM is designed to spur the emergence of a nation of innovators and job-creators.
Over the past four years, since its inception, AIM’s various initiatives have achieved notable success.
So far, AIM has established 7,259 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across 650 districts, thereby providing over 3.5 million students access to emerging technologies. It has also operationalised 68 Atal Incubators, fostering over 2,000 start-ups — of these, 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 also 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.