comment by surajit from silchar on why policy makers neglect creativity in informal sector


“A question that remained unanswered in the mind of innovators was whether the promises by

the policy makers will actually convert into action, given the fact that paltry resources of NIF
have remained frozen for a decade. Wouldn’t it be wonderful . . . .”-A K Gupta
It is depressing to learn that in spite of the sincere effort of SRISTI/HB/NIF, many
innovations of the grassroots (GR) innovators (I guess, AKG has mentioned them as the creative
minds of the informal sector!) are lying idle. It is undesirable, but in my opinion, is NOT
surprising. The incubated innovations of the GR innovators are actually found to exist in a very
crude form which is not suitable to meet the standard benchmark demanded by the
commercial market.
The reason may be elaborated as follows: The innovation of the GR Innovators is
essentially the product of their innate scientific creativity who worked seamlessly without any
adequate infrastructure. Since many of them are not formal researchers and also do not get the
opportunity to be acquainted with the professional R & D training as well, it is therefore not
possible to upgrade and update their own innovations up to the commercial level. Thus we
should not expect that their innovations to be at par with those of Media Lab, Bell Lab etc
where a group of professionally trained scientists are working hard to shine a modest
innovation until it satisfies the demand of the market. History tells us that in many fields
including in the scientific world, a number great ideas took off very humbly and over the years
they have become a unique chef-d’oeuvre after the master craftsmanship of many talented
minds (For example, the steam engine or ATM card). It is therefore extremely important the
professional scientists should research further on the ideas coined by the innovators.
For proper utilization of the treasure trove of innovations of our country, the following
steps may be taken:
1. The SRISTI/HB/NIF may invite a group of scientists from different research institutes
who will assess the merit of the plethora of incubated innovations and will prepare a
shortlist from it which bear the potential to be upgraded up to the commercial level.
2. The recommended innovations may be sent to CSIR labs/IITs/ICAR Labs/any other
institution for further research to meet the benchmark of commercial market.
3. It is wise to look for the possibility of setting up separate section/wing in national
research centres (CSIR/ICAR/DST labs etc) which will carry out research exclusively on
the innovations recommended by that expert committee.
4. It is probably right time to give access the innovations recorded by the SRISTI/HB/NIF to
the third parties who are interested to research further on the incubated ideas.

Anil K Gupta