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Pranab Mukherjee Foundation: Focus on innovation, research and education

With the objective to work in the field of innovation, research, education and rural development, Pranab Mukherjee Foundation — a foundation named after former president Pranab Mukherjee — was launched in New Delhi on Thursday.

“The objective of the foundation is to engage itself in certain activities which we began during my days in the thirteenth presidency,” Pranab Mukherjee said while inaugurating the ceremony.

Foundation Director Omita Paul said that the foundation will initiate, support and execute projects that will create and use knowledge, creativity and innovation to improve the quality of life in rural, semi-urban and urban areas and contribute to the building of an inclusive India.

“It will also undertake research and consultancy projects to strengthen India’s Constitution,” she said, adding, “The foundation will work to find the ‘lasting solutions’ to the challenges being faced by communities in India.”

The launching ceremony was organised at 10 Rajaji Marg, the former president’s official residence, where Mukherjee and Ratan Tata jointly inaugurated the function.

A statesman and a politician of eminence, Mukherjee called for preservation of papers related to those who devoted decades in public life.

“Preservation of papers of the public life of those who devoted decades in public life and their activities have both individual and historic value to understand the time and situation in which they served people,” Mukherjee said.

“Some memorials have been raised but systematic analysis of the papers of Prime Ministers and Presidents has not been done systematically here as in other countries, ” the former president added.

The former first citizen has always been passionate about improving the standard of education and research in the country.

Appreciating Mukherjee for his role in the public life, Ratan Tata, who would be backing up the foundation, said Mukherjee rose from humble beginnings to become 13th President of India.

“He has always encouraged and supported the initiatives which serve the interests of the down trodden and under privileged and I hope this foundation will give him the opportunity of continuing his work in this area. I wish this foundation all success,” Tata said.

Omita Paul, Mukherjee’s former secretary and a close aide, will work as its director. Two of Mukherjee’s children — son Abhijit who is a Lok Sabha member and daughter Sharmishtha, who is head of the women’s wing of the Delhi Congress — won’t be a part of the foundation.

Senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, party president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former vice president Mohammad Hamid Ansari, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani and many other leaders were present at the launching event.

Mukherjee, who started his career as a teacher in a college before joining politics, was elected as the President of India in 2012 after heading various union ministries.

Manmath Nayak

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