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April 07, 2021 Wednesday 04:53:39 PM IST

New Mission Director for Atal Innovation Mission

Leadership Instincts

Acclaimed socio-technologist Dr 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 is taking over the charge from Mr Ramanathan Ramanan, seconded by Tata Consultancy Services to NITI Aayog, who had been leading AIM as its first Mission Director since June 2017. Dr Vaishnav is moving from his present assignment at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, to head AIM.  

NITI Aayog takes this opportunity to thank Mr Ramanan for his outstanding contributions in laying strong, scalable foundations for AIM. During his tenure, short of four years, he also built a robust team of talented young professionals to carry forward AIM’s mission. NITI Aayog wishes all the very best to Mr Ramanan in his future endeavours.

NITI Aayog welcomes AIM’s new Mission Director, Dr Vaishnav, who will be taking over from mid-April 2021.

Dr Vaishnav is an engineer trained to understand and build large-scale systems, with both humans as well as technological complexities. As a teacher, innovator, and entrepreneur, he has the 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 organizations. He has also advised start-ups, corporations, and governments on tackling challenges at the intersection of technology and systems, development, and public policy. 

Dr Vaishnav holds a PhD in technology, management, and policy from MIT.

AIM’s mission is to create and promote a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country. To this end, AIM’s holistic and umbrella framework, along with its organizational approach, 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 successes.

So far, AIM has established 7259 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across 650 districts, thereby providing over 3.5 million students access to emerging technologies. It has also operationalized 68 Atal Incubators, fostering over 2000 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 the 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 5000 mentors nationwide and more than 30 corporate and international partners. It has also established strategic collaborations with other stakeholders to support its initiatives.