Students from IIT Kharagpur and other institutions have come together to develop technologies for rural India. Twenty teams of about a hundred students from IIT Kharagpur and national institutions like, NIT Jamshedpur, NIT Patna and IIEST Shibpur participated in a design idea competition, based on rural engineering technology challenges. The students learnt the approaches of engineering design that can appropriately be deployed to solve problems pertaining to the rural context. The teams worked on these challenges and came up with innovative design features. The top innovation prize went to an improved design of ‘Manually Operated Paddy Harvesting Machine’. The innovators were Anshul Gupta, Akshita Sahni, Siddharth Sankar Parhi and Brajesh Kumar of IIT Khargpur with the fifth member Md. Amil Khan of NIT Patna.
The competition was part of a day-long Product Engineering workshop recently held at IIT Kharagpur for grasping design skills and idea generation. It was supported under the National Initiative for Design Innovation (NID) Project sponsored by MHRD, Govt. of India, with a focus on Rural Technology. The unique feature of this workshop is that it is blending the engineering and design dimensions with the applications in the rural context, wherein participation of students and experience sharing by faculty members has been multi-institutional.
Dr. P K Dan of Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship, coordinator of this workshop said, “today’s workshop is the result of the inspiration by Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, the Director of IIT Kharagpur who envisioned the initiative in setting up the Design Innovation Centre here”. He also pointed out that the students’ entrepreneurship-cell of IIT Kharagpur supported this imitative, that was attended by more than hundred students. Dr. Dan further indicated that the response for the workshop has been overwhelming and many could not be accommodated in this event, however, similar programme in near future may be organised again for those could not participate this time.
Faculty members of IIT Kharagpur, as well as the guest speakers, Prof. Amaresh Chakrabarti of IISc. Bangalore and Prof. Sandipan Bandyopadhyay of IIT Madras shared their experiences with students of IIT Kharagpur as well as with the ones from other national Institutes like, NIT Jamshedpur, NIT Patna and IIEST Shibpur, under this project.
Prof. P K Das, Dean, Postgraduate studies and Research, pointed out, while inaugurating the workshop, that design studies are becoming more inter-disciplinary in nature. Prof. P B S Bhadoria, the principal investigator of NID Project suggested that designers should immerse themselves in the environment of application and the user.