Indias polytechnics are never considered the hubs of innovation,but a list strung together by the moderators of an open-source website where lakhs of student techies upload their final projects presents a different picture.
The list includes seemingly workable ideas,and finished products,ranging from virtual keyboards,a kit that improves fuel efficiency by mixing water with petrol,a refrigerator that uses no electricity and many such others that are expected to be made public by the end of this month.
An initial list drawn up by the head of http://www.techpedia.in,Hiranmay Mahanta,includes a Black Box for Vehicles developed by four girls from the Government Residential Womens Polytechnic in Latur. Their project has in fact been taken up for further development by a major European car company with the assistance of the four girls.
http://www.techpedia.in is the brainchild of Anil Gupta,an IIM professor who is also the executive vice chairperson of National Innovation Foundation,which is supported by the Department of Science and Technology,Government of India.
Mahanta calls these innovations frugal innovations,and said he and his team are working on a detailed list that is likely to materialise by end-January.
And frugal they are.
Four boys from the Matushri Manuben Jethlal Shah Polytechnic in Thane have developed a water pump that works by the energy of the running water it pumps,without using electrical energy or fuel.
Another four students from the Government Polytechnic in Miraj,Maharashtra,have come up with an idea of a refrigerator that uses no electricity keeping cool with water stored in the gaps of its clay walls.
A polytechnic drop-out from the Government Polytechnic in Dahod,Gujarat,designed an H2O kit¿ a module that can run IC engines (vehicular,agricultural implement or generators) with mixed water injections. Mithilesh Patel said he experimented his kit on his own motorcycle by driving about 800 kms in less than five months.
Four students from Dhules Government Polytechnic have developed a solar water heater that costs about Rs 400 and which can be assembled using material normally available in any rural are a wooden frame,tin boxes,reflector and a storage tank.
Others are more technical,such as the Ball Screw Cross Slide for Conventional Lathe developed by students from the New Polytechnic in Kolhapur. The makers claim this has up to six advantages over the conventional sliding lead screws in lathes,and bridges the gap between conventional lathes and CNC lathes.
Still others are answers to labour and industry woes; such as the tractor mounted sugarcane planter developed by five students of K B P Polytechnic,Kopargaon,and the Betel Nut Cutting Machine developed by five students of Dhules Government Polytechnic that combines the ability of the two machines normally used by the industry.