FAQs: Mentor India Program

Answers to the common questions related to the portal and its usage.

1. What is Mentor India?

Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of the programs of Atal Innovation Mission, possibly the biggest disruption in formal education and startup ecosystem globally. We are looking to engage leaders who will nurture and guide the students in the Atal Tinkering Labs and startups under the programs of Atal Innovation Mission. The mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors. Mentor India is a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students and startups across India, under the programs of Atal Innovation Mission. We are looking for leaders who can engage on a regular basis in one or more Atal Tinkering Labs and startups under the programs of Atal Innovation Mission.

2. What is an Atal Tinkering Lab?

Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where students (Class 6th to Class 12th) learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, IoT & sensors etc. The lab activities are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning. The labs will let students explore skills of future such as design and computational thinking, adaptive learning and artificial intelligence.

3. Why did Atal Innovation Mission launch Mentor India?

Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs, possibly the biggest disruption in formal education globally. We are looking to engage leaders who will nurture and guide the students in the Atal Tinkering Labs. These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.

4. Who is a mentor?

A mentor, as a part of Mentor India program, is a person / organization / entity who will engage with one or more schools equipped with Atal Tinkering Labs, startups under the programs of Atal Innovation Mission on an ongoing basis and provide volunteer services in the form of guest lectures, hands-on training and guidance, support to student projects, guidance in learning opportunities and any other mentoring support as requested by the school and the startup.

5. Who is a RMoC?

After competitive rounds of applications, top performing mentors from around India were selected to lead the Mentor India programme at the regional level. RMoCs are selected on the basis of – a. sessions reported on the Innonet Portal, b. video application submitted; and c. previous engagement with the programme through events.



Roles and Responsibilities of a Mentor of Change

6. What are you looking for in a prospective mentor?

We are looking for corporates / professionals / academicians / students etc. who are keen to contribute to nation building. Some of the attributes that are desirable in a prospective mentor are:

  1. Understand and identify with the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs
  2. Keen to work with the Atal Innovation Mission on a volunteer basis
  3. Believe innovation is key to India’s growth and keen to contribute towards this cause
  4. Comfortable working with students from Class 6th to Class 12th
  5. Background in technology is desirable, but not mandatory. Key is to have an innovative bend of mind, and keenness to learn and guide
  6. Interested in inspiring young impressionable minds

7. What are the proposed areas of mentorship?

We are looking for mentors who can contribute in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Technical Knowhow: building prototypes etc.
  2. Innovation and Design: inculcating solution oriented approach
  3. Inspirational: leadership and self-motivation
  4. Business and Entrepreneurship: encourage ideas and team building
  5. Be a sounding board / guide
  6. Help break stereotypes and biases

8. Do I need to have functional / operational knowledge of the various equipment inside an Atal Tinkering Lab?

Atal Innovation Mission will be selecting multiple mentors from different backgrounds including technology, innovation, business etc. to inspire young students to innovate. We understand that all mentors might not be an expert on the equipment available in the Atal Tinkering Labs, however, they should be aware of the potential of the various technology solutions that can be developed using the Atal Tinkering Lab equipment. They should be able to discuss with students the various problems our Indian society is facing across multiple themes, and motivate students to develop solutions to these community problems. They need to align themselves with the mission of an Atal Tinkering Lab, and are encouraged to go through all the Atal Tinkering Labs related resources available on Atal Innovation Mission website.

Each Atal Tinkering Lab is managed by an Atal Tinkering Lab In-Charge who are being trained with various aspects of these equipment. The Atal Tinkering Lab In-Charge is the primary source of knowledge dissemination on these equipment. Furthermore, the students and Atal Tinkering Lab In-Charge are also provided DIY modules on these equipment. We are looking for mentors who are keen to learn new ideas and concepts and then guide the students. To this end, Atal Innovation Mission will have a formal induction program, which will include functional training for these equipment, for the mentors before the mentors start engaging with the Atal Tinkering Labs.

9. What is the expected time commitment from a mentor?

The selected mentors are expected to engage with the selected Atal Tinkering Lab(s) on a regular basis. We expect the selected mentors to spend 1 – 2 hours per week during / after school hours. Furthermore, an ongoing commitment for at least one year with the school is necessary (will typically involve ~40 weeks of academic operations in a year). Selected mentors will be required to sign a commitment document to this effect.

We also expect mentors to interact with the mentors through a portal developed for Mentor India. These interactions could include supporting and reviewing specific innovation projects, support in innovation competitions, and community outreach. We expect a time commitment of ~30 – 40 hours in a year for such interactions.

10. Where will the mentoring sessions take place?

The in-person interactions with students will strictly take place inside an Atal Tinkering Labs / school premises only, in presence of an Atal Tinkering Lab In-Charge / designated school teacher. No mentor will be permitted to meet or take any school students outside the school premises without the explicit permission of the school principal and the Atal Tinkering Lab In-Charge.

In addition to this, mentors can also host mentoring sessions online via video conference. For this, they may plan the time for the video conference before-hand with the ATL In-charge.



Allocation of Atal Tinkering Lab

11. Will I be allocated the Atal Tinkering Lab of my choice?

We at Atal Innovation Mission can not always guarantee that you will get the Atal Tinkering Lab of your choice. Using the assignment selection feature on the Innonet Portal, they select or deselect schools.

12. Can I change my school after it has been assigned to me?

Using the ‘Assignment Feature’ on the Innonet Mentor Portal, Mentors of Change can change the school assigned to them. However, there are restrictions on the number of times and frequency of changing schools.

13. Can I mentor more than one school at a time?

Yes, mentors are allowed to mentor up to 3 schools at a time. They may add the additional schools via the ‘Assignment Feature’ on the Innonet Mentor Portal.

14. Can I mentor more than one school at a time?

Yes, mentors are allowed to mentor up to 3 schools at a time. They may add the additional schools via the ‘Assignment Feature’ on the Innonet Mentor Portal.

15. What is the best way to contact the ATL assigned to me?

We would recommend that you telephonically reach out to the ATL In-charge for your respective schools. The ATL In-charge along with the Principal would be your point of contact in the school. The contact details of the ATL In-charge are shared with your school assignment details.

Once you have spoken to the ATL In-charge please plan your mentoring schedule and discuss it with the school before commencing with your sessions.



Mentor Engagement

16. Is there any way for me to interact with other mentors of my region and the larger mentor community?

To enable communication, interaction and collaboration amongst mentor following are the platforms created for the Mentors of Change –

  1. The Innonet Mentor Portal
  2. The Mentors of Change Facebook group -
  3. Regional WhatsApp groups
  4. City-based Mentor Meets hosted by RMoCs.

17. What are Monthly Mentoring Themes?

Monthly Mentoring Themes are suggested themes of mentoring for the Mentors of Change to have some consistency in the mentoring sessions for students all across India. They also act as guide for the mentors to plan their sessions.