Indian innovations setting Global standards


Though National innovation Council has not studied the role of standards in promoting and influencing innovation eco-system yet but I do feel this is an issue which we can not ignore any further. What standards do is to make it obligatory for the users to conform to them and thus expand the creative space. If there were no standards, world wide web would have not made so much progress and fostered innovations in so many sectors and social segments. Same can be said about telecom sector. There are very few examples where Indian innovations have influenced global standards. Leadership in innovation space is almost impossible without that. I wrote about Sridharan, a Bangalore based construction engineer whose technology for earthquake proof braces was patented in USA. It was later adopted as a part of civil construction standard in USA. Everybody who used such braces while constructing buildings had to pay a royalty to him. Indian standards lag behind as usual but the world did not hesitate in learning from him. I had discovered him during the Four Inventors of India workshops organised at IIMA during 1998 to 2008 after reading about 6000 patents.

Let me now take examples of four innovations which  recognised recently at First Gandhian Young Technological Innovation awards, 2012,  through at IIMA.


Many years ago at a workshop at IDC,  IIT Mumbai, a participant, Venkatraman raised an issue as to why could not the heat of the compressors be used for having hot water alongside the cool chamber.  

Four teams have recently developed ideas which can be pooled to develop new standards. Chintan Patel, Mayank D Patel, Mayank I Patel and Biren Patel, guided by  Prof YL Raol, Prof AB Patel, Laljibhai Chaturbhai Institute of Technology, Mehsana; Jainil Bhatt, Dhruvin Kagdi, Tirth Jani, Kunjal Jadav and  Jainil Bhatt, Dhruvin Kagdi, Tirth Jani, Kunjal Jadav, both groups  guided by Prof. Tushar Patel,  LDRP-ITR College, GTU; Dhruv Patel guided by  Dr Nilesh M Bhatt, Gandhinagar Institute of Technology, and Harish Umashankar Tiwari, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, Pune have used variations on a theme using lpg gas to pass through a cold chamber, say a fridge,  before being burned in a gas burner for cooking food, or harnessing waste heat energy from exhaust of an automobile for cooling driver’s chamber, or harnessing heat from compressor of a refrigerator to generate hot water, a chamber to keep things warm and also save energy, elongate the life of compressor etc.  Sib Sagar Mandal of Assam was recognized by Honey Bee Network through NIF for using the heat harnessed through air pipe coiling around exhaust pipe of three wheeler and then using it to mix with fuel to increasing combustion efficiency.

There are two standards which can be changed:  one) every fridge manufacturer must be obliged to attach a heat harnesser to the compressor so that energy consumption in the fridge goes down, and user can harness extra heat to be used for casserole or heating water. In fact if pulses are kept in hot water for a while, they cook faster and save further energy. Some of the vegetables need not be cooked at all and they may become palatable merely by keeping in hot water, saving all the nutrients as well.

Second standard can be changed or modified  to permit  use of LPG gas for not just heating but also a cool chamber so that villagers where there is no electricity have access to fridge for keeping milk, ,medicines, and vegetables etc.

Indian resolve to reduce carbon intensity in the economy by 20 per cent will require a whole range of innovations and Honey Bee network is showing the way. Will policy makers listen? Will they let hundred of crores of rupees collected from students in every technical university be used for investing in the tech ideas of youth and informal sector? Will mandarins in central and state government rethink the entire higher education policy framework to unleash the power of socially and ecologically responsible and sensitive youth? Will readers contribute, even if government does not?