Gandhinagar: Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said there was immense wealth of ideas and innovation in children and it should be encouraged by institutes like the IITs and NIDs.

Presiding over the 10th Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards 2017, organised by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), where 56 students were recognised for outstanding achievements in innovations and scientific ideas, he said he was honoured to be at an award function linked to Kalam's name.

Mukherjee also said that lessons on the ideas of such creative children should find place in textbooks for different classes to inspire others.

Stressing that "our children should start thinking of scouting the unmet social needs and addressing them through social innovations at an early stage", he also said the students should get a chance to interact with children whose ideas have been appreciated by the country.

"We should also share the ideas of risk taking" and focus on developing entrepreneurial ideas for social, economic and cultural entrepreneurship, he said.

"I am utterly impressed with the children's scientific approach and innovative ideas. Such ideas should also be encouraged by the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and the NIDs (National Institutes of Design). Some of the innovations here are such that they could make people's lives easier."

The former President said that he was happy with the government's efforts to boost entrepreneurship at all levels in society through a very vigorous start-up movement.

Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli said: "I appeal to all the parents and teachers of the award winners here that you should not try to fulfill your incomplete dream through your children, but let children fulfill their own dreams.

"Also the children from privileged background must be encouraged to connect with their less privileged brothers and sisters so that they develop a collegial attitude, and become inclusive in their personality."

NIF's Executive Vice Chairperson Anil Gupta said: "Children by nature are impatient towards problems, and it is this impatience, which becomes a driver for their innovations". He also admitted that it was difficult to choose 29 best innovations out of the 65,000 entries.

The competition is organised every year by the NIF, an autonomous body under the Union Department of Science and Technology.

This year, students from 16 states were awarded for their ideas and innovations.