"Children have hard-wired ability to be creative, imaginative and innovative that often diminishes along the way. These inherent capabilities have to be identified and encouraged to have a new breed of innovative thinkers who are prepared to solve future challenges of our world," Kalam said.
    
He was speaking at a children's gathering during the inaugural function of the Children Science Congress in Jammu, held alongside the Indian Science Congress.
    
Students from different schools and colleges from across the country are participating in the four-day event, which will have programmes like science exhibition and lectures catering to students.
    
Kalam, who enjoys immense popularity among students, said that it is important to be innovative and children are best at it.
    
He said that innovation and creativity results into the culture of excellence.
    
"Creativity is a process through which, we can continuously improve ideas and find unique solutions by making gradual alterations and refinements to our works. The important aspect of creativity is seeing the same thing as everybody else, but thinking of something different," Kalam said in his speech on 'Innovation Empowers Nation'.     

He cited an example of how four university students in Finland came forward and presented their technology design and prototype that led to the birth of mobile brand Nokia when their country was reeling under economic pressure after the collapse of USSR.
    
"The Prime Minister of Finland had asked the top academicians, scientists, industrialists to come up with science driven ideas, but everyone failed to come with an innovative idea,” Kalam said.
    
"Finally one day, four students working in a university came forward and presented their technology design and prototype to the Prime Minister. He funded the ideas of the students to become a product for global market. That product is known as Nokia today," Kalam said, adding "Why not our
Prime Minister invites students."
    
Speaking on the occasion, he said that smart waterways should be developed just like modern quadrilateral highways.
    
These waterways, he said, will connect the whole country and manage the flood and drought effectively and water will be available for multiple purposes including irrigation and power generation.

(Agencies)

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