Category — Education

Lockheed Martin Partners India Innovation Growth Program

The India Innovation Growth Program (IIGP) has been one of India’s longest standing public-private partnerships between Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The goal of the Program is to build an innovation pipeline in India, and it has facilitated access to capital, industry partnerships and resources sought by entrepreneurs. Through a wide outreach campaign spreading over 100 plus cities across India, the program has received and evaluated  over 8,000 and more ideas.

The 2018 IIGP 2.0 has additional partners: the Tata Center for Technology and Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.


“IIGP 2.0 aims to address the specific challenges faced by innovators in scaling their innovations. It is focused on scaling innovations with a strong societal impact as well as cutting-edge industrial innovations, by taking entrepreneurs through the stages of ideation, innovation and acceleration,” says Nirankar Saxena, assistant secretary general of the industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, another IIGP partner.

Finalists who make it through the first two rounds of selections this year will travel to the United States for further mentoring at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In past years, IIGP finalists have visited the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas, Austin and Stanford Graduate School of Business, California.

“Partnerships with these universities have helped Indian innovators and entrepreneurs learn best practices from the U.S. on innovation and technology commercialization,” says Saxena.

February 8, 2018   No Comments

Pfizer, India’s Council of Medical Research to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

New York City-based Pfizer and state owned Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have partnered to establish a center in New Delhi to combat antimicrobial resistance in India. The joint initiative will implement a series of comprehensive interventions, ranging from programs for training staff in the healthcare sector to scaling up surveillance networks, and creating awareness around the responsible use of antibiotics. Pfizer has provided an initial grant of  $1 million  for this initiative with a provision to scale up as the program expands.

Logo of Indian Council of Medical Research

“It is important to channel all necessary resources in developing, implementing and monitoring antibiotic resistance to minimize its adverse impact, which is posing a huge threat to both health and food security. Infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis are becoming difficult to treat due to decreased effectiveness arising out of the irrational usage of antibiotics,” said K. VijayRaghavan, secretary, Department of Health Research and director general, ICMR.

Recognizing antimicrobial resistance as an important area to tackle, the government finalized a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance last year which recommends six strategic priorities including improving awareness through communication, education and training, strengthening surveillance, and promoting investments for initiatives in this project.

January 31, 2018   No Comments

14 of 40 Science Talent Finalists have Parents Born in India

33 of the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search–the leading science competition for U.S. high school students, now known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search–were the children of immigrants. Additionally, 30 of this group had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas, the option that is no longer available for expedited processing due to a recent policy change.

A report from the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to public policy research on trade, immigration, and education, calls the science competition the ‘Junior Nobel Prize’. It says that if children of immigrants somehow disappeared from the U.S., America would be in a serious science talent deficit; their ranks have been steadily increasing since 2004.

National Foundation for American Policy graph

Among these 40 finalists, 14 had parents both born in India, 11 had parents both born in China, and 7 had parents both born in the United States. To put these numbers in perspective, people of Indian and Chinese birth represent only about 1 percent of the U.S. population each, according to the Pew Research Center.


January 16, 2018   No Comments

India to Buy $317 Million in Training Services for Boeing P-8i

India’s Ministry of Defense approved the purchase of Boeing‘s P-8I Training Solution along with a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service for $317 million. This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems, and will help the Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft.

The P-8I for Indian Navy, courtesy Boeing

The P-8I for India’s Navy, courtesy Boeing

This aircraft is equipped for long range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations. Its communication and sensor suite include equipment developed by state-owned defense and private manufacturers.

January 9, 2018   No Comments

European Researcher Concludes that Vedas Improve Brain Function

Among India’s ancient learning methods, textual memorization is the norm: traditional scholars (“pundits”), master many different types of Sanskrit poetry from the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Pundits train for years to orally memorize and exactly these texts ranging  over 100,000 words.

Dr. James Hartzell, a postdoctoral researcher at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, in Spain, entered the cognitive neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Trento, Italy in 2011, to study whether there were cognitive benefits from exercising verbal memory. He says that through the India-Trento Partnership for Advanced Research, “we recruited professional Vedic pundits in the Delhi region; then we used structural magnetic resonance imaging at India’s National Brain Research Center to scan the brains of pundits and controls matched for age, gender, handedness, eye-dominance and multilingualism.”

A man reciting mantras at the bank of a river

The study found something specific about intensive verbal memory training: the pundits’ right hippocampus—a region of the brain that plays a vital role in both short and long-term memory—had more gray matter than controls across nearly 75 percent of this subcortical structure. The pundits also showed substantially thickening of right temporal cortex regions that are associated with speech prosody and voice identity.

Hartzell wonders if the substantial increase in the gray matter of critical verbal memory organs means they are less prone to Alzheimer’s, and if so, this raises the possibility that verbal memory “exercising‘ or training might help elderly people at risk of mild cognitive impairment retard or, even more radically, prevent its onset.  The study was published in the scientific journal, Neuroimage

January 6, 2018   No Comments