Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rs 5,000 cr innovation fund to be launched soon: Pitroda

Rs 5,000 cr innovation fund to be launched soon: Pitroda

National Innovation Council Chairman Sam Pitroda today said a Rs 5,000 crore fund to support innovations would be launched soon.

"We have an innovation fund that we are launching... a Rs 5,000 crore innovations fund with focus on affordability, scalability and sustainability," Pitroda said on the sidelines of an event here.

"The real innovation has to come from the bottom of the pyramid," he added.
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Comment by Anumakonda Jagadeesh

I entirely agree with you! The real innovation has to come from the bottom of the pyramid", Sam Pitrodaji.

Here is a plan of action to achieve the goal.

Innovative Technologies

Innovative Technology is defined as development of technologies or production systems, which are not only appropriate to a social situation at a particular point of time, but also is free from the deleterious effects such as alienation or environmental imbalances. It considers the possible social and environmental changes, and this has built-in flexibility to adjust changing needs. Since such technologies would have to be essentially based on the integrated development of the total region, the concept becomes more wide in its economic, social and political perspective. At the scientific level it poses new challenges for the scientists to devise new technologies that are not available anywhere. It compels the scientists to come out to the people and try to understand them, their needs, their environment, their traditional technologies and skills, understand the science behind such skills based on experience and observation, and then evolve new techniques of production to suit their resources and native genius and meet their needs.

The quest for Innovative Technology means many things to many people and they are summarised as below:

To people it may mean

- gainful employment ;
- self-help, and competence to utilize their skills and other resources;
- inculcation of scientific temper : with the association of cultural change, they may turn for help to science rather than to quackery;
- acceleration of development with multiplier effects ; and
- a feeling of adventure and pride in achievement
To the Planners and Policy Makers, it may mean
- a different approach to grass-root planning
- science is used deliberately as a tool for growth and selective changes;
- better utilisation of resources (including wastes);
- more and better distributed employment opportunities with less movement of people ;
- an integrated approach with flexibility of adjustment as per available resources ; and
- maintenance of ecological balances.

Human Resources – Traditional Knowledge and Methods – Great Assets to Developing Countries:

Ideas float around in bewildering numbers, and scores of designs, ranging from windmills to the spinning wheel, are available ; papers are circulated stating the wonders of intermediate (not innovative) technology what could be done, why it should be done, what must be done, and how the rural countryside can be changed if intermediate technology is implemented. Experts are called from abroad to tell people this.

In all this talk, there seems to be no place for the ideas generated by farmers, rural artisans. A stand seems to have been taken that this transfer of technology for the socio-economic regeneration of the rural areas is a novelty for country-folk. But rural communities have survived for generations without any help in ideas and materials from outside. They have developed a low-cost technology of their own, suited to their own particular areas. It would be foolish to overlook and take for granted methods used by farmers and artisans. When a ploughshare develops trouble on the field, when a bullock cart breaks down on the road to market, when a house collapses in a storm, the villager uses materials available in the immediate vicinity to solve his problem. 

It is the scientist who must see these problems as challenges that must be met if there is to be development in rural areas. It is clear that the villagers and scientists will see the problems of the villages quite differently, and it will not always be true that the projects proposed by the scientists will be meaningful to the villages. If projects are imposed on the villagers, they are likely to be skeptical and may well resist rather than co-operate with the programme. Rural Development Schemes, in the broadest sense, requires first a good sociological approach, and as much psychology as scientific knowledge. After all ‘country means people and not soil’.

Problems – People – Solutions

Research, Development and Demonstration projects in developing countries have generated a variety of devices and systems for exploitation – for example, solar cookers, wind battery charges etc. In Innovation theory, this is a classic case of technology push, that is, technical solutions looking for a social application. Technology push innovations might of course be adopted if they happen to satisfy a real demand, or are heavily promoted. Success is much more likely, however if the needs, priorities and demands are studied before attempting to introduce a new technology or system. This is the demand pull approach to innovation.

Often identifying the right problem is difficult rather than finding a possible solution. People are better judges to identify the problems and since they benefit most by the solutions, they can contribute for finding the best solutions.

A novel and innovative scheme is suggested to achieve the above goal. In developing countries the Government can advertise in the media seeking problems from the people in different disciplines like education, health, energy, industry etc. The problems received can be screened, studied and short-listed by a committee comprising government officials, experts, representatives from N.G.O’s etc. The short-listed problems can be re-advertised seeking solutions from people. 

The solutions received can be studied in detail and the best solutions given awards. To catch a fish the bait should be attractive enough. As such there should be sizeable incentive so that people can devote their talent and energies for finding solutions. As the saying goes ‘Anything can be done for a Dollar’. In this way the creative potential of the people can be tapped to the full and a thought process will be set in motion in the country. In India a general knowledge programme conducted by a Super Star on TV is a roaring success and children, youth and old-all alike have become addicted to get equipped with general knowledge so that they can try their luck for winning fabulous cash prizes.

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