There are about six lacs technology students who spend at least six months in their final year for doing a project. And yet, nobody knows the fate of these projects. There is no requirement from UGC or AICTE that every student put at least summary of their project on a national portal ( some day it will become obligatory for every student). Neither the problems of small and tiny industries are posed to the students nor get the good projects of the students used by the industries. The grassroots innovations already developed in the informal sector also do not get an opportunity for being valorized by these students.
What will such a portal do: promote originality, and eliminate incentives to purchase the projects from third party vendors. The problem is that once a technical mind cuts corners and gets projects done by outsiders, he/she may not have compunction to cut any corner in future. At the same time, every time a person solves a real life problem, he/she becomes a better human being.
Further, the students cannot create a relay or kho kho model of project development by building upon each other’s ideas without a portal of such projects. Let us say, an idea which came to a particular stage at place ‘a’ could be taken forward to next stage in place ‘b’ and then further developed at ‘c’ and may be in a few cycles it will become a product.
Incentives can be given to the students who work in teams within the institutions or across the institutions to address the problems of micro and small enterprises
By creating a techpedia, we will solve these problems and also identify the centres of excellence among thousands of B or C level technology institutions [apart from similar hotspots in “A” Class institutions]. Ranking by the peers and by the experts will also generate information about places where inspired teachers have guided innovative projects. The experts can be of two kinds, one by invitation and the other on one’s own. Their comments will enhance confidence and also indicate direction in which the said technology can be taken forward.
Similarly, incentives and awards can be given to the students who find outstanding low cost process and products options for the industry or add value to grassroots innovations or develop business plans to become entrepreneur based on technologies developed by them or other students.
Retired scientists, professionals and technopreneurs can be engaged to mentor a country wide half a million small enterprise development mission. This initiative has already been started with the help of student volunteers and the faculty guide from SVNIT, Surat.
In addition to all above benefits, this portal will also promote originality. If even one per cent projects become new products, industry would get at least 6000 ideas to invest in and stimulate demand for new products and services.
Small-scale industry cannot hire experts and this could become one way for getting their problems solved.
A course on industrial benchmarking must be introduced in every engineering college and discipline so that students have to do a project on the subject and at the same help the industry in becoming globally competitive.
Anil K Gupta