The world is full of wonderfully creative, innovative people who have a passion for change — for making the world a better place; a passion to contribute — to make a difference; a passion to discover something new.
Anil Pradhan(a.k.a. Ideas Man of India) is an Indian engineer, innovator and revolutionary educationist. He is the founder of Navonmesh Prasar Foundation and School for Rural Innovation(IPSFRI), which was founded in 2015 to educate the less-privileged students of Odisha through an interdisciplinary curriculum. He is also known for designing innovative labs, teaching tools, indigenous rockets and projects which solves real-life problems.
After completing his engineering from UCE (University College of Engineering, Burla), Anil has quit three cushy jobs to follow his dreams. His mission is to create a thirst for innovation among students so that every student, regardless of background, becomes an achiever and, in the process, our country progresses. Engineering students go for jobs. However, Anil is exceptional. He founded a school in a rural pocket of Cuttack to boost the zest for creativity among students.
Prior to incorporating Navonmesh Prasar Foundation, Anil worked on projects with L&T, TATA and other during his undergraduate course in Engineering. He also the Chief Designer of V.S.L.V., Asia’s first Multipurpose Student Rocketry Mission and developed a satellite to monitor Hirakud Dam.
As an innovator, he felt engineering and innovation should not be restricted to a specific branch of engineering. He has designed various sustainable solutions such as a technology to maximise daylight in buildings, thereby reducing electricity consumption. This technological innovation led to him being listed among the top seven innovators in India by Larsen and Toubro (L&T). He was the lead design engineer for the VSSUT Student Satellite Team, which is India’s first multipurpose students’ rocket mission to monitor Hirakud dam. He was also the structural designer of the robot presented by the VSSUT Robotics team at the Asia Pacific ABU Robocon. Being an outstanding civil engineer, he was appointed an Affiliate Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Elaborating on his school and its philosophy, the young engineer says, “Innovation in education can take many forms, like incorporating new technology or teaching methods, going on field trips, rejecting social norms, or partnering with the local community. Our school focuses on educating underprivileged students in rural areas, in particular. We believe that knowledge of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) can bring about a revolution in the modern education system.”
Shifting from being textbook-bound to being hands-on: In this era of easily accessible data, children are not given the chance to think or reason for themselves. Model-making workshops, audio-visual presentations, role-playing activities and exploring the physical world help to deliver the message of classroom lessons in a more interesting and effective manner. Shifting from fear to confidence: By encouraging children, we can train them to be independent and solve problems on their own, thus nurturing their confidence and self-belief.
Awards and Achievements
Winner of XCMG Program, China. Mr Pradhan represented India
Odisha Youth Award 2019
Award of Excellence by STPI, Government of India
National Youth Icon Award 2018 (Innovation Category)
Awarded by IYF, South Korea 2018
Shambhavi Award 2020 Jury’s Commendation Award
3M – CII Young Innovators Award 2020 – Special Impact Prize
Winner in Category of Science Engagement at the BERLIN Science Week 2020, Germany
Founded NaPSAT, became India’s 1st U-19 team from India selected for NASA HERC.
Design Award 2016 by TATA Structura
Listed among top 7 student innovator of India by L&T
Selected Youth Delegate to Indi-Azerbaijan Youth Dialogue 2018
Rank 6 at ABU Robocon 2016 (INDIA)
Awarded for Campus design (His 1st award)
National Junior Editor Award 2011
Winner of National Bridge Design Challenge 2016
Changemakers Award by Govt of Uttarakhand
Recognized by Pepperfry Furniture
International Public School for Rural Innovation (IPSFRI) 2015-ongoing
Bionic Hand for Amputee (2019)
Asia’s first Multipurpose Satellite Mission V.S.L.V. (2015-2017)
ABU Asia-pacific Robocon 2017
Device to maximize daylight in buildings (L&T)
COVID-19 Action Team Project
Talks and Discussions
Panel Discussion by THE BETTER INDIA (English version)
Keynote address at Ed-Leadership Summit (Hindi version)
Keynote address at Odisha Education Conclave (Odia version)