About Mr. Anil Pradhan

Anil Pradhan

CEO & Founder, Young Tinker®

Short Bio

Mr. Anil Pradhan, the Ideas Man of India, is an innovative engineer and trailblazing educationist. Born in the village of Baral, Odisha, he migrated to Bhopal for education. He was the chief designer of Asia’s first university rocket team, VSLV.  Anil’s return to his rural roots in 2017 fueled his mission to bring hands-on education to underserved areas. After engineering, he chose to start an education revolution over lucrative job offers.

Anil founded “Young Tinker,” revolutionizing hands-on learning in India. Young Tinker Spaces focused on STEM education, innovation, and leadership, impacting 247,000 students. He build a team of students from India who won world rank 3 at the NASA Rover Challenge in 2021, Asia’s 1st Under-19 team to do so. He received the National Youth Award, the Highest Civilian Award under the age of 29 from the Government of India. Anil’s accolades include the 3M CII Young Innovation Award and Breakthrough of the year Award at Berlin Science Week.

Representing India globally, Anil’s journey resonates at IIT, IIM, and State Governments. His teaching approach, I.C.E., emphasizes critical thinking, hands-on content, and conducive learning environments. Anil’s innovations and educational tools, from tinker boxes to teaching aids, promote STEAM subjects, innovation, and soft skills, leaving an indelible mark on education worldwide.

The Story

Mr. Anil Pradhan, also known as the Ideas Man of India, is a pioneering Indian engineer, innovator, and trailblazing educationist. Born in the village of Baral in 42 Mouza, an island village in the state of Odisha, India, Anil’s early life led him to migrate to the city of Bhopal in pursuit of education. During his Bachelor’s degree, he returned to his village in 2015 and observed little change over the past decade, motivating him to advocate for hands-on education in rural areas, empowering students to address local challenges.

Anil Pradhan played a pivotal role as the chief designer of Asia’s first university rocket team, named “VSLV,” during his Bachelor’s degree in 2017. Despite lucrative job offers, he chose to follow his passion for education and founded “Young Tinker” with the mission to revolutionize hands-on learning. Through this initiative, he established tinkerspaces that focused on imparting skills, team building, innovation, STEM education, presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and leadership through practical tinkering curriculum. His patented products, curriculum, and programs have positively impacted 247,000 students across India.

In 2021, Anil Pradhan led a team of students from rural India and underserved communities to achieve the world rank 3 at the NASA Rover Challenge. His transformative impact on education, science, and technology earned him the prestigious National Youth Award, Highest Civilian Award under the age of 29 from the Government of India in the same year. Anil’s contributions have been recognized with several accolades, including the 3M CII Young Innovation Award with a Special Impact Prize, the Award of Excellence from the Software Technology Parks of India, and the Winner of the Science Engagement category at the Berlin Science Week.

Anil Pradhan’s influence extends beyond national borders as he has represented India on various global platforms such as the One Young World summit in Manchester, UK; Berlin Science Week in Germany; the World Youth Forum in Egypt; Bauma Shanghai in China; and the NASA Rover Challenge in Huntsville, USA. His remarkable journey has made a lasting impression on renowned institutions like IIT, IIM, and State Governments, where he has been invited to share his awe-inspiring story of innovation and dedication to education.

Anil Pradhan has devised a teaching approach known as I.C.E. for crafting educational programs aimed at students. In this method, “I” stands for intent, where he motivates students to think critically, take initiative, and explore. The letter “C” signifies content, prompting students to participate in hands-on activities involving tinkering with kits and utilizing workbooks. Lastly, “E” stands for environment, highlighting the importance of specially designed spaces that facilitate effective learning. This method of teaching motivated him to create a range of educational tools, including tinker boxes, tinkerbooks, tinkerstations, and over 1200 teaching aids. These resources are designed to teach subjects related to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), foster innovation, and enhance soft skills. 

According to Anil, “Creativity must become our nature, constructiveness must become our habit, and seeds of inquisitiveness must sprout every day and every moment. Then, innovation will become our practice. Enrichment of innovative activities must become a mission and goal for all of us.” To a question on his view of engineering, Anil responds: “Belonging to a middle-class family, I had faced many ups and downs in life. By solving those real-life problems, I learned the art of innovation. Those who can solve a real-life problem are real engineers. They can utilise their technical education to solve problems.

Invited to Andhra Pradesh Secretariat to address Civil Servants (IAS/IPS/ State civil servant) by APHRDI, Govt of AP

Mr Pradhan invited to World Youth Forum, Egypt by Govt. of Egypt

Mr Pradhan met Mr Wang Min, Secretary of China Communist Party on invite to China

Courtesy invited by Shri S Abdul Nazeer, Governor, Andhra Pradesh

Courtesy invited by Prof Ganeshi Lal, Governor, Odisha

Mr Pradhan invited by Shri Dharmedra Pradhan, Hon'ble Education Minster of India

Mr Pradhan's address to Odia people on State TV- Kanak News | 67K people reached

MasterClass by Mr Pradhan

Tedx Talks NIT Suratkal

Elaborating on his school and its philosophy, the young engineer says, “Innovation in education can take many forms, like incorporating new technology or teaching methods, going on field trips, rejecting social norms, or partnering with the local community. Our school focuses on educating underprivileged students in rural areas, in particular. We believe that knowledge of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) can bring about a revolution in the modern education system.”

Encouraging a child to go from just saying “yes” to learning to ask “why?” Children must be encouraged to be curious and ask innumerable whys and why nots. Teaching children not just to look, but to observe: Keen observation of the environment has caused many breakthroughs in science and medicine and in the social and business worlds.

Children must be taught and encouraged to observe deeply, to look beyond the obvious. Shifting from passive learning to hands-on experiential learning and exploration: Hands-on practical experiments, which engage the child’s senses of touch, feel, smell, sight and sound, are extremely effective in helping him to grasp, explain and retain otherwise difficult concepts.

Shifting from being textbook-bound to being hands-on: In this era of easily accessible data, children are not given the chance to think or reason for themselves. Model-making workshops, audio-visual presentations, role-playing activities and exploring the physical world help to deliver the message of classroom lessons in a more interesting and effective manner. Shifting from fear to confidence: By encouraging children, we can train them to be independent and solve problems on their own, thus nurturing their confidence and self-belief.

Awards & Achievements

3M – CII Young Innovators Award 2020 – Special Impact Prize

National Youth Award to Shri Anil Pradhan by Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt of India

3 Awards in NASA Rover Challenge 2021 & 2023

Felicitation by Hon’ble Governor, Andhra Pradesh

Odisha Youth Award 2019

Award of Excellence by STPI, Government of India

Winner in Category of Science Engagement at the BERLIN Science Week 2020, Germany

Winner of XCMG Program, China. Mr Pradhan represented India


Shambhavi Award 2020 Jury’s Commendation Award

Design Award 2016 by TATA Structura

Listed among top 7 student innovator of India by L&T

Awarded by IYF, South Korea 2018

Rank 6 at ABU Robocon 2016 (INDIA)

Awarded for Campus design (His 1st award)

Selected Youth Delegate to Indi-Azerbaijan Youth Dialogue 2018

National Junior Editor Award 2011

Changemakers Award by Govt of Uttarakhand

Recognized by Pepperfry Furniture

Talks & Discussion

Panel Discussion by THE BETTER INDIA (English version)

Keynote address at Ed-Leadership Summit (Hindi version)

Keynote address at Odisha Education Conclave (Odia version)

TEDx talk by Mr Pradhan at Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar 

Panel Discussion at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Sambalpur

Mr Pradhan at Panel discussion @Ideate 2019 by BIPF, IMFA and FICCI

Media Feature

Sunday Post (Cover Story)
3M CII Young Innovators
Odisha Post (Cover Story)
The New Indian Express (Cover Story)
Fame India Magazine Feature

International Public School for Rural Innovation

Bionic Hand for Amputee (2019)

Asia’s first Multipurpose Satellite Mission V.S.L.V. (2015-2017)

TedX Talks

Archives (Hindi-English)


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