Rural development aims at improving rural people’s livelihoods in an equitable and sustainable manner, both socially and environmentally, through better access to assets (natural, physical, human, technological and social capital), and services, and control over productive capital (in its financial or economic and political forms) that enable them to improve their livelihoods on a sustainable and equitable basis.
“The dream of India as a strong nation will not be realized without self reliant, self-sufficient villages, this can be achieved only through social commitment & involvement of the common man."
Rural development has gained global attention especially among the developing nations. It has great significance for a country like India where majority of the population, around 65% of the people, live in rural areas. Rural Development in India is one of the most important contributor to the development of Indian economy. India is primarily an agriculture-based country with nearly one-fifth of total GDP of the country being contributed by this sector.
Technological and planning based innovations are acute demand of time, especially in Indian social structure where not only the benefits of the new changes matter, they would only be implementable if they could be socially, ideologically and economically fit into the Indian society. There is a need of implementable and economic ideas to uplift one of the most integral part of India- the Rural India.
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Water Carrying System:
One of the major problems prevailing in the rural areas of India is the water scarcity. In hilly terrains and places where the water source is far away from the village, women have to carry up to six to seven vessels (in pyramid cal form) on their head. They have to cover large distance to and fro for their daily water requirements. This situation gets even worse in the summers. This activity is associated with heavy drudgery and is responsible for many health related problems viz. neck-ache, back ache, mental stress etc. Necessary interventions are required to minimize the drudgery associated with the daily lives of these women. The aim here is to design or build a prototype which can carry at least 10-12 litres to be transported on an uneven terrain for one to three kms or more. Following issues should be dealt with:
- Cost of the device
- Ease of the design
- Novelty of the application
- Amount of water it can carry
- Side effects if any of the technique/machine/mechanism developed
- Comfort for the women
Safe Drinking Water:
The health burden of poor water quality is enormous. It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually; 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone. The aim here is to develop an affordable and effective water purification technique for households in rural India. This system should purify a given quantity of water to basic standards of potable water in a short period of time. One example may be in situ treatment of contaminated water and the aquifers in use. Most common and critical contaminations involve: arsenic, fluoride, bacteria which require technical solutions and techniques to deal with. Following issues should be dealt with:
- Installation Cost (in litres per day the machine/technique would purify)
- Operation Cost (in litres of water the machine/technique will operate on)
- Maintainability by local people
- Level of purity and type of impurities tackled (impurities may be arsenic, fluoride and bacterial contamination)
Low cost Rainwater harvesting:
- A collection (catchment area)
- A conveyance system consisting of gutters and pipes
- A storage facility
- A delivery system consisting of a tap or a pump
The association costs of a rainwater harvesting system are for installation, operation and maintenance .The general costs of a RWH of higher capacity may go upto Rs 20,000 and more. However one way to reduce its cost could be manufacture of low cost gutters from materials found cheaply in the locality .For ex V shaped gutters made from galvanised steel sheet.
Design a rain water harvesting structure considering its cost effectiveness as compared to the traditional ones for households in rural India. Following issues should be dealt with:
- Installation cost (litres the system can store)
- The area it covers
- Duration for which it stores water
- Novelty of the application
- Rain water collection efficiency for a fixed amount of rainfall
- Efficient methods of ground water recharge
Pumps based on Renewable sources of energy:
Farmers use either the government supplied power or, in the absence of power, diesel. Both these sources, as we know, are highly polluting the environment. A litre of diesel might cost anywhere between Rs.35 and Rs.40 depending on the subsidy given to the farmer. For the above operational hours, the farmer spends around Rs.4000-5000 per month (including transportation costs). This would translate to Rs.50000-60000 of annual expenses which is a lot if you consider the marginal and low income farmers.
A litre of diesel emits 2.68 Kg of CO2. A diesel generator that consumes 0.5 Litre per hour (for a 2 HP pump) will emit approximately 3.2 tonnes if operated for 8 hours a day and 300 days an year.
None of this is sustainable as it is more costly and effort seeking and of course, environmentally unsustainable due to the amount of CO2 each litre of diesel emits.
Keeping all the above costs to the farmer and the environment in mind, an alternative source of power which is clean (no emissions), renewable (does not run out) and does not incur continuous expenses is advisable.
The aim is to design a low cost renewable energy powered to help the farmers to get reliable, inexpensive and clean power. Even though there are multiple systems available currently, they range at around Rs. 1.5 Lacs per HP. Technological innovations are needed to bring this cost down or bring an alternate model which is cost effective and is suitable for the low income farmers.
Rural India accommodates over 700 million people today but shelter remains beyond the reach of millions of them even after 50 years of independence. Unable to bear the cost of building materials they remain homeless or live in inadequate and congested house.
The rural houses also suffer from inadequacies such as the lack of thermal comfort and the inability to withstand natural calamities.
The aim is to develop an eco-friendly , low cost and low energy designs for houses in rural areas which can be built from the locally available material. One solution may be to reduce the cost of construction by supplying new building materials, introducing new techniques in construction and production processes and reusing building materials and using architectural designs which could reduce energy usage by using natural resources locally available.
An agricultural pond is located on a farm and used for farm purposes. It may provide water for livestock as well as wildlife, serve as a source of irrigation for crops and serve as a management tool to maintain or improve water quality on the farm.
Agricultural ponds are of three types: upland dug pond (not located in wetlands), wetland dug pond (partially located in wetlands) or embankment pond (located directly in streams or drainage ways). Agricultural ponds must be sited, sized and designed to avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts to the natural resources.
Data for Indian geographics: Semi-arid lands have typically rainfall between 300 mm to 750 mm. Rainfall is sporadic and usually less than 30 rainy days. When a downpour occurs which is more than 30 mm surface runoff needs to be captured. This can then be used as supplementary irrigation when rainfall fails to occur over more than 7 to 10 days and the crops need lifeline water. By incorporating a rabbit hutch and a chicken coop at the center of the pond, the droppings can be used to rear fish in the farm pond. The water too has richer nutrients for the land when applied.
In India rainfall patterns sometimes go very unpredictable and in some regions the large dependency of farmers on rain results in catastrophic losses for them. Farm Pond is a very good way to store the water during rainfall to use it during arid seasons. It has many added benefits apart from irrigation. This kind of technique would be very successful in conditions like India and there is an immediate requirement to promote it and reduce the involved costs so that it can be used on large scale. It is useful for marginal farmers, the outputs are very good owing to the high nutrient content of runoff water.
One of the problems associated with the farm ponds is the use high density polythene (HTPE) to avoid the seepage loss which in turn is highly costly and non-eco friendly. Other problems involve proper seepage rates and slopping, the construction costs, materials involved and the loss of heavy amount of water retained in it due to evaporation.
Design a proper constructed farm pond obtain maximum amount of runoff into the pond and also catering to the above problems. Also develop a locally available material as a liner for farm ponds as a replacement for HTPE.
Self Sustainable Villages:
Around 60% of the rural population in India lives in primitive conditions. Most of them have no access to electricity, necessary education and health services. Modern technology has not touched these people even after 60 years of independence. Rural poverty causes large scale migration to cities which further lead to serious urban problems. This is the picture of present scenario but the picture has another side too and the answer is self sustainable villages.
Our villages have agriculture as main economic activity. There are a number of hindrances/dependabilities which prevent from Indian villages from being self sustainable. Self sustainable villages is not a new concept. There are a large number of villages in India which have become self sustainable and have improved their living and economic conditions exponentially. Solutions may be in one of the many ways in which villages can be made sustainable.
Following are few fields in which work can be done:
1. Energy sustainability (eg. using local biomass/resources to generate energy in cheap ways), one of the most important criteria would be the environment friendliness of the idea.
2. Water sustainability: ways to make a village water sustainable suggesting ways which could account for various geographic differences in the country, suggesting different ways for different regions.
3. Health Care: one of the biggest and most ignored issue in rural India, methods suggesting ways to easy monitoring and setup and assisting government policies in domain of public health.
4. Food: food sustainability, methods and models which could minimize food dependency of village and generate enough food for village.
5. Managerial and social aspects: to build a sustainable village people of the village need to initiate and enthusiastically participate in the process of making it self sustainable, methods to incentivize and aware villagers about importance and direct impact of developing a self sustainable village.
6. Sanitation: sanitation is one thing greatly ignored, villages are very backward on this front, suggest cheap ways of improving sanitation in villages which could be applied on larger scales.
Above are some suggested activities, to develop a self sustainable village a large number of domains need to be looked up, there may even be some changes on basis of geography and society of that region. Any activity (ways) which may contribute majorly, in incorporating sustainability of village are always possible and invited.
Design a plan to convert a village into a fully functional sustainable village which is independent economically, socially and resources wise. Assume the initial condition of villages to be at minimal level of sustainability and economic stability. India has every kind of villages ranging from those which have no facilities, no economic systems, no judiciary, no government interaction, no basic amenities to those which have become fully sustainable. The aim of this task should be to cater to the worst condition villages and take them towards full sustainability.
In agriculture, a soil test is the analysis of a soil sample to determine nutrient and contaminant content, composition and other characteristics, such as acidity or pH level. Tests are usually performed to measure the expected growth potential of a soil. A soil test measures fertility, indicates deficiencies that need to be remedied, and determines potential toxicities from excessive fertility and inhibitions from the presence of non-essential trace minerals. The test is used to mimic the function of roots to assimilate minerals.
1. Done on 2 scales : Micro and Macro in the government/private labs. Cost of micro is around Rs 5 per sample while that of macro is Rs 40 per sample
2.Design a cost effective soil testing technique which can be used directly by farmers, try to minimize dependency of farmers from soil testing laboratories and experts making it more farmer friendly and easy to do.
The tests are conducted in labs after soil sample has been collected. If costs and user friendliness can be increased, farmers would use it more frequently and get better idea about properties of soil, crop suitable, mineral contents etc.
It can involve development of easy to use and easy to access softwares/applications which can help farmers to themselves obtain results and generate automatic recommendations and external help from experts in some condition. (this is an example, many such innovative ideas can be generated) or may be a compact /portable soil nutrient analyzer kit. Aim should be to make the farmers know about such facilities available, there benefits involved and design techniques which could make farmers to test their soils independently and with minimal physical interactions with outside agencies.
Diminishing forests, and an ever increasing population, mainly rural biomass-dependent population of 984 million, necessitates a co-ordinated effort of rural India to supply itself with a dependable and sustained source of energy. Currently, there are thought to be about 2.5 million household and community biogas plants installed around India, though an estimate suggests that 12 million could be usefully employed. The current potential of Biogas in India is estimated at 17,000 MW. Apart from these benefits, there are other less tangible benefits, involving benefits from using a renewable source of energy, converting bio waste into a more useful form rather than just disposing off the biowaste and polluting the environment in various ways, a less known benefit is a substantial decrease in amount of greenhouse gases emission as Methane forms one of the most abundant part of Biogas. This energy potential associated with Biogas can be increased manifolds by introducing changes in technicalities and methods involved. There is a need of constant advancement in techniques associated to increase efficiency and decrease costs so that it can be adopted at larger scale in rural India. Following are some issues on which better technologies and methodologies can be introduced:
- Biogas plants that can handle multiple substrates (cow dung, human excreta, leaves and other biomass)
- Improper preparation of influent solids leading to blockage and scum formation
- Plans/Technological solutions to increase output/efficiency of a single plant, suggesting technical changes in current structures and equipments employed in biogas plants.
- Plans/ Techniques through which households with less amount of biowaste fuel could get substantial outputs, it may involve suggesting changes in managerial aspects of the plants.
- Usage of Biogas as fuel to a wide range of practical applications in everyday rural life.
Some more problems:
- Gear Solutions for cattle driven pumps
1.Cattle driven pumps are used in places where there is ample ground water
2. In this pump , there is bigger gear attached to a much smaller gear which gets rotated by the cattle movement. However , it breaks often due to unsteady motion.
3.Design alternate gear designs.
- Fencing solution for villagers on forest fringe
1. A farmer works all day long in his field and and then spends the night safeguarding his farm from animals.
2. Design a cost effective solution to protect a farm from attacks by neighbouring animals.
- Rural Chulha
1. Generally chulhas used in rural areas create heavy indoor pollution which in turn affects the health of the women working on it. Other disadvantages are inefficiency of chulhas, high amount of firewood required, emission of smoke into atmosphere, large efforts required etc.
2.Design a cooking stove taking into the consideration the locally available fuel and its health impacts and its cost and also consider geographic factors like location, temperature, rainfall etc.
- Soil Reclamation
Reclaim, rejuvenate the soils already poisoned due to green revolution inputs and practices. Excessive use of artificial means of increasing nutrient content of soil has left land poisoned and devoid of nutrients. There is need of change in techniques of crop rotation, usage of artificial means to increase nutrient content. Suggest solutions to rejuvenate the soil suggesting techniques/ equipments which could help the situation.
Project Report FormatThe following points must be included and clearly highlighted in the report: Title Abstract 1. Objectives 2. Beneficiaries (For whom) 3. Value of results (Use) Background Statement of Problem 1. Succinct definition of problem (follows from material in the background section) Research 1. Present methods of tackling the problem (if any) 2. Proposed Solution 3. Alternate soultions/approaches 4. Novelty of Approach: How is your solution better than existing products that addresses the same problem. Technical Report 1. Description of concepts, theories or approach involved in the proposed solution. 2. Technical aspect of the proposed solution. 3. Detailed technical specifications and pictorial representations (block diagrams) 4. Description of the flow of operations demonstrating key features and functionality 5. Performance estimate of the solution. 6. Experimentation done to establish the workability of the above 7. A link to the video of the working model/ prototype. Results 1. Actual findings, significant output of tests and analysis (Must be readable) 2. Include problems encountered, believability of results, accuracy estimates 3. Pros and Cons of your solution 4. Utility of results Application 1. Your idea as a solution to the problem 2. Additional applications 3. Benefits to the users Any other specific details
Final Project Report and Video SubmissionThe project report should be mailed to utkarsh[at]techfest[dot]org with the subject -Ideate: Utkarsh: Project Report: Team Id (For example Ideate: Utkarsh: Project Report: UT1243) before 23:59 hrs on 30th November, 2012. Do not forget to mention your Team ID in the subject while sending it. Teams must follow the following details for the submission: 1. The abstract must be submitted in pdf format only 2. Font: Verdana 3. Size: 11 4. Spacing between two lines:0.6 inches 5. Spacing between two paragraphs: 1 inch 6. Bottom margin: 1 inch Along with this, participants will have to make a physical model/prototype for the solution, which will be reviewed in this stage. The participants will be required to submit a project report and a video to demonstrate the progress made on their working model/prototype. The last date for the submission of the project report and the video is 30th November, 2012. The panel of judges will analyse the report and the video and will give them a detailed feedback on the modifications of the model to achieve better results. The details of the shortlisted participants based on this submission along with feedback from the judges would be communicated to them by 10th December, 2012
Prototype and Final PresentationAfter declaration of the finalists, participants are required to improve upon the prototype/ working model of their project. They will also have to make a presentation covering the technical and financial aspects of their product in a detailed manner. This final presentation and the video will have to be submitted at utkarsh[at]techfest[dot]org before 20th December, 2012. The teams can however, continue to work on their prototypes till 2nd January, 2012. The teams will have to bring their prototypes to be judged and showcased at Techfest 2013 during 3rd to 5th January. The working prototype should be as close as possible to the product that the team intends to present to the end user. This would also help in deciding a better estimate of the cost of the prototype, reflecting closely the actual cost of the product.
|Registration Deadline||5th November, 2012||Last date for registration of national as well as international participants. However, the final report along with the video of prototype (if any) can be submitted till 30th November, 2012.|
|Project Report and Video Submission||30th November, 2012||Final documentation with video of the working model/ prototype will have to be submitted before 30th November, 2012.|
|Result||10th December, 2012||Declaration of shortlisted teams for final presentation on the basis of final report and prototype video.|
|Improvisation Stage||10th December, 2012 to 20th December, 2012||Shortlisted participants are to improve upon the working model/ prototype of their project and prepare a presentation for the final round.|
|Final Video and Presentation||20th December, 2012||Participants have to submit the final presentation and video before 20th December.|
|Presentation Stage||3rd-5th January, 2013||Final presentation along with the demonstration of the working prototype.|
1. The competition is open to all (students, research scholars and professionals).
2. Every team has to register online on our website for the competition. A registration number will be allocated to the team on registration which shall be used for future references.
3. All teams will have to submit the videos of their working model/prototypes along with an project report before 30th November, 2012. The shortlisted team details will be put up on the website by 10th December, 2012.
4. The decision of judges shall be treated as final and binding on all.
5. Note that at any point of time the latest information will be that which is on the site. The information provided in the pdf downloaded earlier may not be the latest. However, registered participants will be informed through mail about any changes on the site.
Utkarsh will be judged by a panel of experts. Following are the broad guidelines for judging:
2. Acceptability and User-friendliness (simplicity of the product)
3. Ease of production using local skills
4. Better use of resources which are available in the local areas or ease of availability of raw
materials and other resources available locally
5. Performance and maintenance of the product
6. Affordability of the product
7. Novelty of thought
8. Environmental friendliness
9. Ergonomics if the team decides to make a well-designed product
Note: In some cases where it is not possible to make a working model then the team should make a prototype of their design. The prototype, though not necessarily working, should be anything that in some sense signifies how the actual model would look and work. However, only those ideas that require large scale implementation and high initial costs may remain into non-working prototypes.
All international participants will have to register before 5th November 2012, and will have to submit the complete report along with video prototype before 30th November, 2012. The shortlisted international team details will be put up on the website by 10th December, 2012.
Those teams that are shortlisted for the final round and give a final presentation about their work during Techfest 2013 will be awarded a Certificate of Participation. The top entries from this event will be provided with Certificate of Excellence.
The participating entries must be in a team of a maximum of 4 [four] people. If the participating team feels that their idea requires more participants, they can forward their request, with suitable reasons, to utkarsh[at]techfest[dot]org with the subject "Utkarsh team number increase".
|UT 1016||UT 1028||UT 1046||UT 1050|
|UT 1054||UT 1091||UT 1103||UT 1108|
|UT 1114||UT 1176||UT 1183||UT 1190|
|UT 1197||UT 1219||UT 1220|