5 March 2017

Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards celebrates the spirit of student innovation in all the fields of engineering, science, technology and design through affordable/frugal solution or the ones pushing the technological edge.

GYTI awards 2017 saw 2,715 nominations from 308 Institutions & Universities, belonging to 27 states & two Union Territories in India across 54 different subject disciplines. This year 22 innovations are selected for award and another 17 for appreciation. Under the BIRAC-SRISTI program, 15 GYTI awardees in medical & biotech innovations category are getting a grant of Rs 15 lakhs, to further develop their prototypes/proof of concepts and another 100 students/others, for grassroots innovations and/or socially relevant solutions get a grant of Rs 1 lakh. Surat based Hari Om Ashram has also endowed, in collaboration with NIF, a fund to provide Rs 50,000 each to five innovators.

Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, NIF and the Chair of the Advisory Committee of AASTIIK and SRISTI, chaired the award function and inspired students along with Dr. Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO, Dr. K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, DBT, Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, Dr. Renu Swarup, MD, BIRAC.

Prof Anil Gupta in his inaugural speech said that no student should duplicate a project. A student can carry forward a work done by another student on a particular topic – the kho-kho model of innovation. platform aims at putting the problems of micro, small and medium enterprises, informal sector, grassroots innovators and other social sectors on the agenda of the young technology students across the country. Prof Gupta said the students can be’ jealous’ of their idea as long as the innovation is ‘generous’ to the society.

Dr. Mashelkar who is labeled as a ‘dangerous optimist’ talked about the importance of going back to the Gandhian way of life and work. He said that excellence and affordability in innovation has to go hand in hand.

Dr. Francis Gurry addressing the University student awardees said that the three largest corporations in the world – Apple, Google and Microsoft were founded by innovators in their early twenties.

Dr. K. Vijay Raghavan noted the presence of the range of innovators – from the grassroots innovators coming from small villages with little formal education to the other spectrum of students coming in from the top universities of India. He said India has the capacity of not only creating problems, but also solving those. He mentioned that the three priority area to democratize science, technology and innovation is: 1. access to information 2. access to opportunity and 3. access to toolkits.

Dr. Renu Swarup said FOIN is the celebration of innovations. She highlighted SRISTI’s tagline “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world”. She also mentioned the importance of the students to be tracked along their path of progress. She encouraged the innovators to spread the word about GYTI awards, because success will inspire more success.

Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe said that it is indeed rare to celebrate the festival of innovation under the umbrella of the Head of State of India. He promised to encourage one million plus students to upload their projects on the platform and double the number of awards next year. He highlighted the fact of the awards coming from a range of subjects from Biotechnology to Engineering.

Highlights of BIRAC-SRISTI GYTI 2017 Award & Appreciation

There were around 800 entries across 19 subject areas of medical devices and biotechnology. Seventeen BIRAC GYTI Award and seven GYTI Appreciation Awards are being given under this category. Out of 24 technologies, five deal with water and sanitation, two for image processing, three for antimicrobial & sterilization and rest are either diagnostic devices or at cutting edge level of futuristic research, as evident from the fact that two awardees have publications in the journal ‘Nature’.

Five technologies related to water are concerned with either potable water or demineralised water or removal of pollutants (chemical, heavy metal or textile dye). These are based on photometric sensing; polymer coated optical fibre sensing; hollow membrane for micro & ultra-filtration; compact cascaded membrane system and a hybrid of hydrodynamic cavitations & hydro gels packed bed adsorption. Microbial / Pathogen count is taken care by silver nano-particle decorated coconut charcoal in geo-specific bottle conceptualised by Ramesh Kumar from IIT Madras whereas bacteria specific antibody functionalised on polyanaline coated silica core optical fiber by Sutapa Chandra of IIT Mumbai. Demineralised water is produced at 40 -60 L/h capacity at an operating cost of 5 paisa per liter by Madupathi Madhumala of IICT Mumbai.

Technological improvement in microscopy; Digital Holographic Microscopy and Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging have paved the way for Blood quality assessment of Blood Bank by Mandeep Singh of IIT Delhi and Early Detection of Oral Cancer by Manashi Chakraborty of IIT Kharagpur.

RGB Emitting Carbon Quantum Dots from Vegetables/Fruits extracts are highlighted in the paper published in ‘Nature’ journal by Vikram Singh of IIT Madras. It has application as fluorescent probes for live/fixed cell imaging and as specific chemo sensors for bioanalytes. RGB emitting carbon quantum dots (CQDs) are used as an alternative of quantum dots and organic dyes due to their less toxicity, stable fluorescence, good biocompatibility and water soluble behaviour.

The investigation of microcracks and pull-out strength of cortical-bone screws in drilled holes by Vishal Gupta at IIT Delhi compared conventional surgical bone drilling (CSBD) with rotary ultrasonic bone drilling (RUBD), a novel approach employing ultrasonic vibration with a diamond-coated hollow tool. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe microcracks and surface morphology.

Disease detection is slowly becoming a handy tool with the aid of many point-of-care diagnostic devices. We had around 50 plus entries in these categories. One each in Oral cancer, Cervical Cancer, Dengue, Diabetes and Alzheimer's has made it to the final list of Awards & Appreciations.

Search for novel antimicrobial is always in forefront of drug research due to ever increasing resistance. Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Assays developed at IIT Kharagpur by Shantimoy Kar, utilising the micro fluidics based paper kit giving results in six hours of incubation in humidified environment instead of 18-24 hrs by currently prevalent technique. Emergence of drug resistance in bacteria is a major cause of infection and mortality. Shivangi Sachdeva and team at IIT Hyderabad identified that E. coli outer membrane protein Wzi that acts as an anchor for capsular polysaccharide (CPS) onto the bacterial surface (viz., a lectin). It also exhibits a bidirectional passive water conduction property (viz., a porin). When the osmotic pressure becomes high due to the surface accumulation of CPS, water is transported from inside the bacteria to outside to dilute and spread the concentration of CPS and avoid the rupturing of the cell. The optimal concentration of CPS can be maintained through osmo-regulation character of Wzi. This paper is also published in Nature.

A highly suitable solution for sterilization of medical equipments in rural area is developed by Saugandha Das at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai using Flash Freeze Elixir (FFE). It comprises of a low cost antimicrobial agent, and a combination to form a cryogenic liquid. The individual non-toxic components used in the mixture possess biocidal properties and when combined in a specific ratio could provide enhanced killing effect.

A novel nano patterning technique- Electro lithography by Santanu Talukder and team at IISc Bangalore is based on discovery that electric current assisted by joule heating can induce long range flow of material on thin metal films, such as Cr. Using this technique, best resolutions achieved are of 9 nm on the polymer, and 40 nm on transferring the pattern to another material. Micro matching has medical importance for bioactive implant materials for hip, knee and maxillofacial applications.

A fully automated handheld device to detect melamine from milk was developed by Dhiraj Indana at IISc Bangalore with integrated milk pre-processing by using chemical dried cotton.

Virtual Reality (VR) together with haptics offers immersive, flexible, and cost-effective platform for training doctors in medical procedures. In this project, Shanthanu Chakravarthy at IISc Bangalore has developed a VR-based endoscopy simulator together with force-feedback system for endoscopy training to medical students.

NeuroBuds is a brain wave mapping smart earphones developed by Nitin Vasanth at Cochin University of Science & Technology, which has specially designed & fabricated carbon nanotube based sensor electrodes to detect brain waves via the ear canal of the users. Smartphone based processor is used to run bulk of the calculation, thereby minimising the hardware requirement and hence the cost.

Mallikarjunachari G. at IIT Madras aims to design a nano-mechanical device which can be utilised for both diagnosis as well as plaque removal. The primary objective of this research work was nano-mechanical characterisation of polymer thin film on polymer substrate of different interfacial strengths. Nano-indentation and nano-scratch techniques were applied in this work to find out the mechanical response of polymer-polymer interfaces in the area of drug delivery and bioavailability, Ashish K. Agrawal and team at NIPER, Mohali have characterised Smart Nanocarriers for Oral Insulin Delivery. Polyelectrolytes stabilised liposomes (layersomes) were hypothesised and assumed to protect the insulin entrapped within the layersomes. Furthermore, layersomes were functionalised by using folic acid (FA) as targeting ligand and were hypothesised to follow additional receptor mediated endocytosis uptake mechanism for enhanced bioavailability. Efficacy testing in Sprague-Dawley rats showed that subcutaneous insulin exhibited severe transient hypoglycemia while oral insulin solution was practically inactive as no blood glucose reduction was observed.

Highlights of GYTI 2017 Award & Appreciation: Engineering

GYTI awards 2017 received around 1,900 entries across 32 subject areas in Engineering. Five projects are being awarded the Hari Om Ashram inspired, Dr. Amulaya K. N. Reddy GYTI Award of Rs 50,000 each. Ten other projects have been selected for appreciation.

The fifteen selected projects came from a range of engineering subjects. Two projects one each from Design and Electronics catered to visually impaired people. Three projects are from Agricultural Engineering, two from Computer Science, two from Electrical, and one each from Aerospace, Naval, Textile, Automation, Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Madhav Aggarwal, Mohd. Suhail and Bhavesh Pachnanda from Delhi Technological University have developed a smart glove called ‘Navyo’ that will guide a visually impaired person turn-by-turn to reach his/her destination via vibrations. User simply needs to speak out the destination in mobile App developed along with the glove.

Anubhav is an efficient writing tool for visually impaired. In currently available tools, one has to write backwards and the paper has to be reversed to read the written text. Hence they are unable to read what they have just written effectively. This makes mathematical operations a difficult task. Anubhav solves the problems of writing and performing mathematical operations in a single device which uses the same technique which visually impaired people have learnt for writing in an affordable and user friendly package.

Swayam is a pico-satellite developed by undergraduate students of College of Engineering, Pune. Swayam is a passively stabilized communication satellite of dimensions 10 X 10 X 11.35 cm and mass of only 990 g. Swayam was launched by ISRO on 22nd June, 2016 by PSLVC34. The satellite is currently in-orbit and data is being down linked at COEP ground station and analysed on a regular basis.

Animesh Laha of IIT-Delhi has developed an indigenous technology of soft body armour for defence applications using 3D woven aramid fabrics. 3D fabrics (in which yarns are arranged in three perpendicular directions) are treated with shear thickening fluid (STF) which is found to be effective against 9X19 mm bullets at 430 m/s.

Dr. Parikshit Moitra and Dr. Deepa Bhagat of IISc Bangalore have developed a novel bio-engineering approach to generate an eminent surface functionalized template for the selective detection of female sex pheromone of certain agriculturally hazardous pests.

IIT-Delhi students Dilshad Ahmad Khan, Faiz Iqbal and Zafar Alam designed a fully automated five axis CNC ball end magnetorheological finishing. The machine caters to the demand of today's industries which deals in finishing of 3-D dies, high precision lenses, orthopaedic implants, jewelleries and gems.

The issue of toilet sanitation in public places remains a massive problem in India. A simple mechanical device is developed by a team of 5 students of IIT-Madras to ensure the sanitation and cleaning of the toilet-seat by the push of a foot pedal.

Plant and animal based biodegradable polymers have limited applications due to compatibility issues, low gas barrier and low mechanical properties as compared to the conventional used plastics. Akhilesh Kumar Pal of IIT-Guwahati has developed poly (lactic acid) based biodegradable films with highly improved gas barrier properties for food packaging. The invention has the potential to replace conventional synthetic polymers.

Power quality is one of the key factor in electrical systems and is taken into consideration to meet the demands of today’s customer. The reliability and cost of any electrical system depends on the quality of the supplied power and consumed by the system. Anusha Vadde of M S Ramaiah University has worked on enhancement of distribution system performance using high voltage alternating current (HVAC) boost converter and fuzzy controller as an alternative to transformers.

Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMVs) are used for exploring subsea natural resources, monitoring marine pollution, performing hydro graphic surveys, and more. Energy for AMV operations are taken from battery cells. Mannam Naga Praveen Babu of IIT-Madras has come up with a fish-inspired design of a remotely operated surface ship and underwater vehicle with the uniform mode of fish propulsion, which operates at subsurface. Flapping foil propulsion is 80% more efficient than the conventional screw propulsion system also more environment friendly since it disturbs the water less.

Prasobhkumar P P of IISc Bangalore has developed a quality assessment system of cocoons through image and sound processing using a smart phone and microphones. Human error can be minimised by this automated cocoon assessment system for grading and pricing of cocoons based on quality.

Manual collection of straws is labour intensive; while existing straw balers are complex tractor based machinery requiring skilled operators. Ramalingam P L of Anna University has devised a simple to maintain and cost-effective trolley straw baler by ram compressing mechanism with traction force which does not require any external source of power.

Solar photovoltaic (SPV) generation is emerging as the best alternative of conventional sources for water pumping. IIT-Delhi student Rajan Kumar has developed a grid interactive solar PV based water pumping using brushless DC motor drive.

Sound recognition is critical to the development of artificial intelligence. However, sound recognition remains an arcane task for computers, given the incomplete understanding of how humans are able to recognize sound and understand its meaning naturally. Never Ending Learning of Sound (NELS) is a system developed by four students - one each from NITK Surathkal and BITS Pilani and two PhD students at CMU. The project aims to learn about sounds automatically or through direct supervision, and expand its vocabulary of sounds through analysis of audio and multimedia recordings. NELS aims to provide the largest and most up-to-date available repository of sounds in the world.

OCR++ is an open-source framework designed for a variety of information extraction tasks from scholarly articles including metadata (title, author names, affiliation and email), structure (section headings and body text, table and figure headings, URLs and footnotes) and bibliography (citation instances and references). The framework has been designed by nine students of IIT-Kharagpur.

SRISTI Samman Award was conferred to 7 grassroots innovators and knowledge-holders - people who have been selected for their contribution in various fields such as, herbal practices, conservation of crop varieties, environment, whereas some have been awarded for their innovations to improve lives of other people.

Smt Annakutty Joseph
Idukki, Kerela
Innovation Brief: Mrs Annakutty Joseph (71) is a herbal healer who has developed several medicines to treat human and animal diseases. These include skin diseases, worms, intestinal disorders, lean calves, mastitis, foot and mouth disease, inflammation, jaundice, piles and some others. She has also made efforts to conserve certain rare varieties of ash gourd, giant granadilla, wild chilly, wild onion, Dioscorea spp.

Shri Kongara Ramesh
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Innovation Brief: Mr Ramesh is an innovative farmer who has developed new varieties of chili and mangoes. He has also developed an organic pest control. Apart from farming, Mr Ramesh is knowledgeable in homeopathy medicine and gives free medicines to the needy. He has served lakhs of people suffering from various health problems. Agricultural innovations and free homeopathy medicine to the needy.

Padmaja Venigandla
Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh
Innovation Brief: Padmaja trains rural children in classical dances. With the help of few dance experts/volunteers, she has trained scores of village children who have performed at various programs in Delhi, Hyderabad, Vijaywada and on foreign shores too. At the ashram even boys are trained in traditional martial arts and many other traditional local art forms. She has also combined an old age home for women with children's home. Children and the aged women get care and affection from each other.

Shri N Vellan
Wayanad, Kerela
Innovation Brief: Mr. Vellan (66) belongs to a tribal community of Wayanad district in Kerala. His contribution in keeping the lifestyle, food habits, herbal medicine, bio-diversity conservation, traditional art, dance, archery of the tribal communities is commendable. He has worked for conservation of common land in Karapula dam site. He has also worked for conserving animal species of Wayanad chicken and dwarf cattle. He has also revived traditional tribal dance form. He has revived many traditional recipes such as Kalluputtu, Karakundappam, Mulaiyeri Payasam, Thenkai Soru (coconunt rice), Irulaila, Ilaiyotti, Pottala, Kaiyotti, Mansatti kuthan etc.

Shri Mahadeo Mahto
Hazaribaug, Jharkhand
Innovation Brief: Sri Mahadeo Mahto, 63, has innovated a unique way of organizing a 'Vriksha Raksha Bandhan' Fair (tying sacred threads to trees for their protection) to protect trees and conserve forests. The group formed by him, Vanya PraniSuraksh Samiti is no running this campaign in 10 different venues. As estimated, he has succeeded to protect 500 acre of land area till now.

Shri B K Deva Rao
Dakshin Kannada, Karnataka
Innovation Brief: This septuagenarian farmer from Southern Karnataka has grown and conserved around 154 varieties of paddy that includes traditional and hybrid varieties. He has cultivated paddy in an estimated 42 small plots of his field without use of chemical manure or pesticides. Even his son Parmeshwar Rao, an electrical engineer has now quit his job at a renowned firm to join him in this endeavor.

Shri Upendra Rathod & Rajiv Rathod
Amreli, Gujarat
Innovation Brief: After years of experimenting with the Santi, Mr Upendra Rathod has played an important role towards its standardization into a three wheeled tractor called Sanedo at Rathod Agro Industries. He has helped in the diffusion as well as further development of the Bullet Santi in India and Africa. The Sanedo uses new features such as hand hydraulic, reverse gears as well as sprayers for pesticides. This makes it powerful, multipurpose agricultural equipment especially in cotton farming with high mileage that has the potential to make use of animals like oxen in farming an obsolete practice.