M G I R I. Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialisation

Vol 3, Issue 1 January 2011 MGIRI Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialisation newsletter/ lans'k A National Institute under the Ministry...
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Vol 3, Issue 1

January 2011


Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialisation

newsletter/ lans'k

A National Institute under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt. of India

Padmabhushan Dr Vijay Bhatkar (left) examines the ‘water burner’ developed by Mr Suryanarayanan (right), (President of India and Tamilnadu Govt awardee and a member of MGIRI’s Innovation Workstation) at the International Energy Summit at Nagpur on 28-1-2011 (night)


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Contents ‹ Thrust Areas under the Interface Projects

.... 2

‹ Editorial: New ways of involving S&T institutions if India has to succeed in building the 'bottom of the pyramid' .... 3 ‹ MGIRI welcomes its new President

.... 3

‹ Recent events

.... 4

‹ Forthcoming events

.... 5

‹ India international energy summit at Nagpur

.... 6

‹ Renewable energy conference & expo at Chennai .... 7 ‹ MGIRI in news

.... 8

Maganwadi, Wardha-442001, Maharashtra. T: 07152-253512 F: 240328 www.mgiri.org email: [email protected]

Idea of All India Coordinated Projects on Thrust Areas of Rural Industries under the Interface Project Scheme


he basic idea is: Can we identify a few crucial innovations / problem-solving directions that could make a quantum jump in the quality-productivity status of some major rural industrial directions ?

The approach is to identify a few pivotal problems and to concentrate on those few on a mission mode by casting these projects as All India Co-ordinated Projects - wherein the contribution of a few institutions could be integrated to arrive at a faster solution. The project will be co-ordinated by a suitable lead institute and quick results could be achieved by fast-track reviews, flexible funding, frequent reviews etc. Four problems that could be considered under the khadi sector: MGIRI’s interactions with the KVIC officials / grassroots institutions have indicated that the following four directions, if provided with major S&T inputs, could lead to a breakthrough in the performance of khadi sector. These four avenues along with their S&T themes are described in the following: Sub-sector

S&T Theme

K1. Pre-spinning

KVIC’s current policy is to find alternatives to Central Sliver Plant (CSP): But could the CSP be replaced by De-centralised Sliver Plant (DSP)? The currently available DSP due to Fractal Foundation (Chennai) with a maximum capacity of 90 kg / day lint caters to the employment (‘cotton to garment’) of about 120 women and costs about Rs. 12 Lakh. Can further R&D efforts be put in to reduce the price at least by 50% ? Many feel this could happen. Can similar versions be evolved for the employment of 240 / 480 persons so that cotton to garment clusters could be considered to bring down the cost of khadi substantially by also caring simultaneously about all the four components of this proposal: k1 to k4 K2. Spinning Could the New Model Charkha (NMC) be re-engineered using the most recent advances of mechanical engineering and electronics so that : - the torque requirement is reduced to the minimum possible level (for example 50% of the present). - the strength of khadi yarn is equal to or greater than that of the mill yarn (- one of the dreams of Gandhiji) Success of the project could lead to charkhas with larger number of spindles. Power applications through pedal could also be considered. Obviously, it will also lead to solar charkhas at reduced cost. K3. Weaving Loom designs like Gramlakshmi (due to KVIC), TARA (due to Development Alternatives , New Delhi) are affordable in terms of cost but are not able to attract the weaver (since his counterpart working in powerlooms is able to earn four times more wages). The design accessories like Dobby, Jacquard etc. have not reached most of the looms in the khadi institutions. Can we conceive of an ‘intelligent loom’ - which has productivity about 3 to 4 times that of Gramlakshmi? - which is design-friendly? and - which makes judicious use of solar power (etc.) for part of its operations by combining the use of more advanced technologies. An all India effort is a National priority since many cheap designs of China based on more recent technologies has already started entering into the Indian weaving industry displacing even the power looms. K4. Finishing Could the scientists come up with affordable working systems / processes in areas like soft finish, stiff finish, Technologies wrinkle-free finish, wash’n’wear finish, crease-resistant finish, fragrance finish etc. so that khadi could become truly user friendly and help the process of market penetration? Seminal problems in village industries and crafts: Suppose we consider the thrust area of KVIC as food, shelter and clothing it is very clear that we could identify: - Community scale design of food processing machines with increased quality and manoeuverability by induction of electronics based intelligence to obviate the absence of trained man power in rural sector.

- Creation of high quality pre-fab building elements suited to SHGs compatible with modular architecture and dedicated to EWS, LIG, MIG and a few categories of rural structures like schools, micro industries, pump houses, toilets etc. with a view to reduce the price of building to about 50% and with a view to trigger the culture of self help housing etc. Similarly, can we think of certain crucial supportive R&D areas that could make radical difference to VI sector? The following are illustrative: - Creation of power backups for segments of energy needs like - 0 to 500 watts - 500 to 1000 watts - 1 kw to 5 kw - 5 kw to 10 kw - 10 kw to 50 kw etc. and find energy backup models based on local alternative energy sources. - Identification / design of power tools that could increase the productivity of workers in VI / crafts by at least four times so that the survival of the Indian rural production sector is given some hope. FEEDBACK FROM READERS INDICATING POTENTIAL PROBLEM AREAS WILL BE HELPFUL. Title: MGIRI Newsletter Periodicity: Monthly Language: English / Hindi


Editor: Dr T Karunakaran Publisher: Dr T Karunakaran Place of publication: Wardha


– Editor

Printer: MGIRI, Wardha Nr.: MAHBIL 05736 / 13-1-2009-TC Post Regn. Nr.: WDA / 60 / 2010-12

Editorial: New ways of involving S&T institutions if India has to succeed in building the ‘bottom of the pyramid’

MGIRI welcomes its new President

Shri Virbhadra Singh Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of MSME, Govt of India and President of MGIRI


he universities and the CSIR Labs in India are meant for two separate functions – the former for creation of knowledge and the latter for creation of industrially useful knowledge. The problem begins when one asks what is to be considered as ‘industries’.

able to face the challenge. It will have to be an inter-disciplinary team. If the disciplines are not to be found in a single campus it will have to be a networking of a few campuses. Thus we are led to the concept of All India Coordinated Projects. Some examples are given on page 2 of the current issue of the bulletin.

The sad truth is that in spite of their capabilities both of the above categories have failed to relate themselves to the rural industries sector in any significant way.

A still more baffling issue is: “should the solutions arrived at through national efforts be given to enterprises that are operating under profit motive and under cut-throat competition? What if the technology is used in such a way that the target population for which it was evolved could not even access it?”

Now assuming, that a team of institutions are ready for S&T intervention with a view to enable the rural industries sector to attain global competence in terms of quality, productivity and market appeal .... The question is:

In such circumstances we could consider the idea of zone based franchising (with possible competition within the zone itself). Necessary social responsibilities like subjecting oneself to price control etc. might work. Quality bench marking might also have to be part of the social control process.

how do we make this engagement happen ? Let us first take the case of Khadi and Village Industries. Originally (- till 1987) there were only a dozen or two products to consider; therefore the Khadi and Village Industries Commission was able to have technological support, training, quality control, etc. for each item separately through a centre specially dedicated to it. For example Nashik was associated with soap, Bee Research Institute, Pune with honey and so on.

One more factor still to be considered is: the participation of the industry in the R&D process itself. This question came out clearly when MGIRI was trying to frame a National level network for the ‘intelligent loom project’. It became evident that in a complex project like loom involving the need for trial fabrications it will be practical to involve one or more industries that are already in the front-line. Thus while fixing partners for R&D institutions one has to search for industrial partners also – partners who will have social commitments and be willing to subject themselves to some social controls. Depending on the participation level and contribution the market role of the enterprise could be decided upon – also taking into account the quantum of business expected and profit levels anticipated.

But when the KVIC, in response to the Ramakrishnayyah Commission, admitted every technology / product into its fold the situation became complex. It took a dozen years to conceive of an Institute like MGIRI on the ‘hub and spokes’ model. The Wardha campus became a centre to link the identified problems with the solution providers [called ‘Technology Back-up Institutes’ (TBI)] through the mechanism of ‘interface projects’. Nationally important institutions like IISc Bangalore, 5 IITs, 3 NITs and 3 Regional Institutes of specialty have already started working through the network and proven that this indeed could be a powerful method of problem sharing and solution transfer.

The country has already many experiences in the field of Innovation Management - for example in evolving drugs with intellectual inputs from many players. It has expertise in dealing with ethnic wisdom to the advantage of the relevant communities. It has created the mega structure NIF: National Innovation Foundation.

To this the ‘Interface Advisory Committee’ has recently permitted addition of ‘Experts’ (one man Institutes) to help expand the power of the ‘Solution Provider Network’. Efforts are also underway to work out ways of harnessing the outcome of the emerging innovations in favor of rural industries through franchising and other methods. A major challenge however is: ‘facing technological complexity’.

It appears there is one concept missing: the idea of ‘Knowledge Commonwealth for Social Development’ (KCSD). This will be to help scientists who would like to create knowledge and safely deliver for the purpose of social change. This will perhaps be the way to help the enterprises situated on the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ (but having potential to topple the pyramid itself !). – Editor For Hindi summary see page 5

For example: suppose we get into the ‘Intelligent Loom Project’ which involves not only the latest mechanical engineering, but also solar-driven electronics, software etc. no single team will be


MGIRI Newsletter : January 2011

Recent events

Director, MGIRI addressed the entrepreneurship development planning at Vigyan Ashram, Pune on 3-1-2011

Mr Navendu Agarwal from Mumbai and Narendra Mehrotra, Retd. Scientist of CDRI, Lukhnow conducting IPR Seminar in MGIRI (8-1-2011)

Director MGIRI presiding over the policy session on 20-1-2011 in the national workshop of Indian Blacksmithy at Bardoli

Mr H D Sinnur, PSO (K&T) with Kalamkari artists at Srikalahasti, exploring S&T intervention possibilities

MGIRI Director with Anna Hazare on 3-1-2011 at Ralegaon Siddhi. Shri Anna Hazare was on maun vrat; but he broke his vrat to explain his vision of engineering a national campaign against corruption by helping to shape the Lokayukt Bill. When asked why he went on a maun vrat Annaji explained that though every day many thousand people come to tell him about the corruption that they are encountering there is no one who is willing to come forward to say what contribution he or she will be able to make in the process of fighting against it.

Short Incubation Programme (SIP) for soya milk and tofu (17 Jan to 3 Feb, 2011). Dr K R Yadav is explaining the process.


Mrs Pragati Gokhale exposing ‘Rural Haat’ at Vanamati creating awareness among Govt. officials working in rural development sector

MGIRI Director (middle) at Prayog Samiti, Ahmedabad on 1712-2010. On his right are R&D experts - Mr Madhavan Nair and Mr Nagen Bhai Salaria and on his left Mr Vijay Bahadur Singh (Secy.) and Mr Girija Shankar Rai (lab incharge).


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