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Anil Gupta modifies stand on 'Idiot Fund'

Chitra Unnithan  |  Ahmedabad 

Maintaining that its work is to promote entrepreneurship and to make money, the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) has clarified that it is not awaiting any money from filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the producer of 3 Idiots. Chopra had sourced NIF’s innovations for his film.

Anil Gupta, vice-chairman of NIF and a faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), told Business Standard: “There seems to have been some misunderstanding regarding the payment. The producers promised to innovators whose innovations were used vis-à-vis the innovation promotion fund. I wish to clarify that while we discussed many, many ideas about how to promote innovations by young minds in the country in the context of this film, our mission for the purpose started 20 years ago through the Honey Bee network and will continue for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.”

While Gupta said no fund was promised by the producers of the film, he added it would be welcome if it were to come into existence. “The film has certainly created a much-needed awareness for giving flexibility to our children to frame their future choices with flexibility, freedom and fellowship. We appreciate that. There was no specific fund promised by the producers of the film and, thus, the question of not contributing to that fund does not arise. I once again reiterate that, were such a fund to come into existence, I will welcome it. But then it is not something that was promised or denied. If the government can keep NIF’s budget frozen for a decade, despite more than 15 times growth in database — providing proof of creativity of children and masses in the informal sector — what right do we have to complain about other actors?”

The innovations — a scooter flour mill, a cycle-based horse shaver and a pedal-driven washing machine — were sourced by Padmashree award winner Anil Gupta. The innovations were showcased in the film and the producer has paid a sum of Rs 10,000 to two of the innovators whose innovations were used in the movie.

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First Published: Sun, January 10 2010. 00:00 IST