A Step Toward Creation of Knowledge Society

By: Abhishek Srivastava

A STEP TOWARDS KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY

In the midnight of 15th august 1947 when India got freedom our first prime minister in his famous speech said "When the midnight strikes India awakes to freedom when the whole world sleeps". In 2007, when Indian economy is surging ahead, the GDP is increasing at an astronomical rate, there is a boom in the service sector, software industry and so on. But are we Indians really awake? But have we Indians fully explored the knowledge section of our society? The answer to both the questions is NO. Though we have been able to reach across the globe with Information Technology we have not been able to explore the huge potential which exists within our country at the grassroots level. The area of grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge had received no concentrated efforts till very long. The people at the grassroots level maybe economically poor but no one can doubt the richness of knowledge and resources that they hold. The irony is that resource rich people belong to the economically weakest section of our society. Till now not many efforts have been taken to allow these people to contribute to the economy.

These people have been able to bring about technological innovations which are many times more suitable, more efficient to the local needs and are more cost-effective than the options available in the market. These innovations when commercialized may have huge market potential and huge social benefits. Similarly, traditional knowledge which has been carried through generations by the communities and in which every generation has added its own perspective are huge knowledge-bases, which have neither been looked at deeply or documented, which otherwise could have had large social implications.

These realizations lead to the formation of National Innovation Foundation by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The organization is taking concentrated efforts to fill these gaps and provide the grassroots people due credit. The organization is headquartered at Ahmedabad and was set up in 2000. The mission of the organization is "To help India become an inventive and creative society and a global leader in sustainable technologies without social and economic handicaps affecting evolution and diffusion of green grassroots innovations".

This organization is dedicated in bringing up grassroots innovators and traditional innovators. Since its inception this organization has brought 65000 innovations from 400 different districts all over India. This organization works with them to take up their technological innovation to such a scale from where it can be commercialized by funding with the help of SIDBI but also adds values to their technology in collaboration with experts in the concerned field. The organization also protects their intellectual property rights and gets these technologies patented.

NIF has scouted and documented various innovative technologies in different categories that have been appreciated in various parts of the world. Some of these products are consumer durables like beauty care umbrella, natural water cooler, boiled tea making machine for customized taste; in electronic category there is mobile phone operated switch, safety device for remote firing of cracker; in environmental management category, modified silkworm raring tray is there and in social and commercial category, tree climber is one of the products which is in great demand. In agricultural machinery and farm implement there is a cotton stripper which has got the patent in US and India, and motorcycle driven ploughing device and so on. One example of traditional knowledge which has been documented is natural bone healer. The list is endless and benefits far reaching. Many of these technologies have become popular in the villages and some have found applicability in countries across the globe. NIF is dedicated in changing the perception of people toward this section of society.

This organization is not only dedicated in finding such people in India but also around the globe. They conduct "shodh-yatra" twice every year in one of the regions of India to scout, document and honor the grassroots innovators and traditional knowledge holders. Till now eighteen such "shodh-yatras" have been carried out. This year the 19th shodh-yatra would be held in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir from 20th of June. They have also opened SCAI (Student Club for Augmenting Innovations) chapter in various leading institutes of India, where students help NIF in testing, validation, enterprise planning etc.

NIF has signed MOU with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi for scientific validation of innovations/practices. MOU with National Botanical Research Institute to screen herbal innovation/traditional knowledge. MOU with Indian Council of Medical Research. MOU with Botanical Survey of India. NIF has also joined hands with Central Board of Secondary Education to unearth creativity of children by organizing a national competition for innovation and ideas for students. NIF has linkage with Honey Bee Network, Confederation of Indian Industry. NIF have 25 collaborators around different part of India who help NIF in reaching to our grass root innovators. NIF is second in filing patent applications in India till now NIF had filed 131 patent applications in India ,7 in US and 1 PCT .Out of these 19 patents have been granted in India and 3 in US.

Now with new ideology of Grass Root to Global NIF is looking towards not only every Indian but toward world to come forward and join our innovations movement for finding the traditional knowledge and grass root technology and make this place a truly great knowledge society .

For more information related to NIF please visit www.nifindia.org



Science
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Science