MITID Innovation Programme

Learning From Failure – MIT ID Innovation Program

On 7th June, all of India waited with bated breath. ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission was moments away from achieving what no other nation had even attempted, to land a vehicle on the South Pole of the moon. It was the culmination of years of effort from the ISRO team and yet just before the Vikram Lander could touchdown on the Lunar Surface, a mere 2.1Km from the surface in fact, it lost contact with the ground stations.

ISRO Chandrayaan-2 twitter statement
ISRO Chandrayaan-2 twitter statement

The Chandrayaan 2 mission had failed. But it wasn’t a failure. ISRO had won the adulation of not just India but the entire watching world. The entire nation stood by the brave scientists, who worked for years on the Chandrayaan 2 mission.

This is a very important shift in India’s attitude towards failure. We are a nation that’s otherwise highly obsessed with success but with Chandrayaan-2 have shown exceptional maturity in responding to the so-called failure.

What set’s India’s space missions apart is that we treat the failure of our missions with as much respect as we do our successes. The team has already accepted the lessons from this mission and not treated it as a failure. The Chandrayaan-2 Lunar orbiter is already place and is sending relevant reliable data to mission control, but what did not work is being fixed for future missions. There are usually two kinds of people in this world, the people that fail and the people that learn. Failure isn’t a step backward but rather an opportunity for future successes. It will all depend on the mind set of an individual. This mind set is especially important in the field of innovation as these are the people that need to be able to deal with failure in a positive way.

“If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means “First Attempt in Learning”
.End is not the end, if fact E.N.D. means “Effort Never Dies” – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam

As Indians we have plenty such exemplary examples of moving past adversity to accomplish something extraordinary. We have to look no further than the recent Chandrayaan 2 moon mission by the Indian Space Research Organization.

Learning from Failure

Would you rather have tried and failed or not tried at all, in which case failure is certain? The problem today is that more people focus on the successes of a person but not what it took for them to get there. There are many personalities you can think of for whom failure is as much a part of their life as is success. What sets them apart is the ability to think of their failures in a positive light.

Technical Innovation

Technical innovation is one such field where failure is encouraged. India needs people who are willing to put their ideas to the test and come up with bold solutions to the problems that we face. The MIT ID’s Post Graduate Innovation Program is one such innovation course that is designed to bring out the best of the people who really want to make a difference in this world with their solutions. It encourages unconventional thinking by focusing on the positives of failures. It provides a holistic problem solving approach by integrating engineering, design, management studies and liberal art education into one course. It also provides a hands on experience of real world situations where students go out and work in industries to get the best of the both worlds.