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4th Edition of ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) Launched

The 4th edition of the annual ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) took place in Langkawi, Malaysia, on November 28, 2023, showcasing the collaborative efforts of India and the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). With the participation of 200 representatives, this year’s AIGIF aimed to strengthen the relationship between the nations and promote social innovations at the grassroots level.

AIGIF Overview

The AIGIF is an annual program designed to foster cooperation in STI between India and AMS. It not only provides a platform for showcasing social innovations but also contributes to strengthening governance in grassroots innovation ecosystems. The collaborative initiative involves the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India and the host nation’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), with the Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) executing the AIGIF in 2023.

Inauguration and Keynote Remarks

Mr. YB Chang Lih Kang, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia, inaugurated the AIGIF 2023. Emphasizing the importance of flagship programs like AIGIF, he highlighted their role in showcasing and promoting innovations that can significantly impact lives at the grassroots level. He urged nations to commit to social innovations and work collectively to ensure a better tomorrow for everyone.

Perspectives from Indian Representatives

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, emphasized the crucial role of innovators as hope for the world. He called for unprecedented cooperation, suggesting possibilities like Joint Technology and Product Development, Cross-Border Technology Licensing and infrastructure sharing to elevate new-age technologies in the region.

Mr. B.N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, highlighted India’s emergence as a key nation for startups with a global presence, including several unicorns operating in Malaysia. He underscored the potential of platforms like AIGIF to create opportunities for students and grassroots populations while urging industries to connect with grassroots innovations for sustainable solutions.

International Participation and Collaboration

The AIGIF 2023 saw the participation of 17 student innovators and grassroots innovators from India, along with representatives from 11 countries, totaling approximately 200 participants. The event builds upon the successes of previous editions in Jakarta, Indonesia (2018), Davao, Philippines (2019) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2022), demonstrating a continued commitment to addressing societal challenges through collaboration.

 High-Level Discussions and Perspectives

On the sidelines of the forum, the Indian delegation engaged with Mr. B.N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, gaining valuable insights into the ASEAN-India relationship and the crucial role of STI in its strengthening. The discussions emphasized the importance of ongoing commitment to cross-border mechanisms, information sharing and networking to enhance innovation and technology capabilities.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q1. When did the 4th edition of AIGIF take place?

Sol. The 4th edition of AIGIF took place on 28th November 2023.

Q2. What is the main objective of AIGIF?

Sol. To strengthen the relationship between India and the 10 ASEAN Member States in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and promote grassroots social innovations.

Q3. Who inaugurated AIGIF 2023?

Sol. Mr. YB Chang Lih Kang, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia.

Q4. How many participants were there in AIGIF 2023?

Sol. Approximately 200 representatives, including 17 student and grassroots innovators from India and participants from 11 countries.

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