ANIL KUMAR GUPTA
Anil Kumar Gupta is an Indian scholar in the area of grassroots innovations. He is the founder of the Honey Bee Network. He retired as a full-time professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 2017, where he served for about 36 years. He is a visiting faculty at the institute now. He held an executive vice-chair at the National Innovation Foundation, where he is a member of its governing board now. He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 2004, for his contributions to management education.
He is seen as a pioneer in the field of grassroots innovations, in which his contribution includes documenting people’s knowledge with the help of teams of volunteers spread across India. He helps grassroots innovators and communities build on their knowledge systems by providing help in filing patents, promoting scientific validation of these innovations by involving government scientific institutes and private individuals and bodies and facilitating tie-ups with entrepreneurs and industrial groups.
Gupta is known for crafting innovative courses for students at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. One of his most popular courses included shodh yatra, under which he took management students to different parts of the country to learn from local communities and study their knowledge systems. This course was derived from his larger concept of walking through the length and breadth of the country, interacting with farmers, traditional knowledge holders, grassroots innovators, innovative students, etc., which he named shodh yatra (meaning ‘research walk’). It started in May 1998 in the western Indian province of Gujarat.
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