Innovation / Research

Message to all young tech students

There is a dire need to bridge the widening gap between the opportunities available for creative communities and individuals in the formal and in the informal sector. While individual innovators in every sector endure limitations, their handicaps multiply several times when language barriers, remoteness and illiteracy, so characteristic for the informal sector, further impede the communication between these two sectors.

In an era where social tensions and, in some cases, instances of violence are tearing margins of the country apart, I genuinely believe that it is a very mandatory gesture on the part of the students at TERI (and other such campuses) to engage with innovators in the informal sector. I have no doubt that they will not make it just a one time engagement. We need several concrete steps to be taken up by young technology students:

a) Benchmark the inertia, in particular, in technological activities of workers in different livelihoods. Be it a cobbler, stone breaker, luggage carrier in hills, tea leaf plucker, or paddy transplanter! There exists an absolute lack of value addition in the forest produce collected by tribals that have been languishing for centuries as labourers.
b) Identify time bound ways of addressing these challenges, through collaborative learning as well as blending of formal and informal science and technology.
c) Mobilise small risk capital from alumni and high net-worth individuals to create a social venture fund at each campus to invest in the socially useful ideas of students and also of the informal sector innovators.
d) Extend testing and calibration facilities to innovators, without cost if needed, or at extremely low cost, so that the advantage of state of art laboratories and workshops is made available to the informal sector.
e) Each student should develop at least one open source multi media and/or multi language lesson in any subject of any class.

f) Reinforce the spirit of sharing and upload the assignment projects and other content on or other such platforms to make these open source, after filing patents, if needed.

I am sure that there are many other initiatives that you will all take. The Honey Bee Network will be more than happy to hear about your achievements and share them with the rest of the world.

Keep it up!
God bless you all!



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