To create an innovative temper among the youth and children, some innovators have stepped forward and started their innovation clubs, centers and labs. The quest to find more innovators and to create an ecosystem of innovations, is what they strive for.
Aaab Tech Innovation Club
A Srinagar-Ganderbal based innovator Mudasir Maqbool Mir has recently started Aaab Tech Innovation Club. The club currently functions in Srinagar and Ganderbal and holds workshops in various schools to nurture the ideas of students and provide technical support to them.
Since childhood, Mudasir was very interested in innovations and had done many in the past. With no one to support him, he had to give up on many of his innovations. He said, “I was not exposed to many things back then. I don’t want anyone to go through the same. With my club, I am exposing students with a lot of information regarding the ideas and innovations and how we can make our career in the field of innovations.”
The members of the club go to various schools and conduct workshops in the field of automatics, robotics, mechanics and electronics. “The kids have unique ideas because they are curious about everything. They think what an adult mind can’t,” he said.
Through the club, Mudasir tries to create a path and inspire the new and young generation towards innovations. The motive of the club is to sharpen up the mind of youth.
“In the sessions, we brainstorm the students about the solution of the problems. Here they get the practical learning of everything so they can learn properly. The main thing is to generate the idea and kids. Finding a solution is not that difficult. Even the backbenchers who are often loathed, have mind blowing ideas and have capabilities to do things faster. That’s what is required in an innovator,” he said.
Usually, the sessions start from 5th class onwards but the club, most of the time, keeps it open for the lower classes as well.
“There are kids who have made some projects but don’t know how to refine it or what to do with it in future, we offer them a helping hand. No book gives us education regarding these things. The books are also outdated and don't give us the information of updated technology,” he said.
He also said that after the workshops many students turn up and get interested in doing innovations. The club is affiliated with Vigyan Prasar (an autonomous organization under the department of Science of Technology) and is a member of VIPNET clubs.
“What a student needs to know is possible through videos, workshops, practical learning and training. We offer them CDs and other journals which are provided to us by VIPNET,” he said.
The Kalam Innovation Center
In 2016, The Kalam Innovative Club - an innovation club, was introduced by an innovator from Anantnag, Naik Qayoom. The club started with 20 students and today thousands of students across Kashmir are associated with it.
“These clubs used to be in school only and now some like-minded innovators are taking initiatives to create innovative and technological temper among students of Kashmir,” he said.
Recently the club got upgraded into a center, The Kalam Innovation Center. Presently, the center offers technical support to budding and experienced innovators. “Apart from students, many national innovators and grassroot innovators make their projects in the center,” he said.
The center provides workshops, sessions to the students and focuses more on innovations in the field of agriculture. The club also organizes science awareness camps in various schools.
Some of the projects made in the center are Apple Grading Machine, Variable dia Tower Climber, Weed Remover, model of Strawberry Plucker and Automatic Seed Sowing Machine. The patents have also been filed for some innovations.
The Automatic Seed Sowing Machine is used for line sowing for crops. The work which was done manually, will be done accurately and effortlessly with the help of this machine. The innovation is further supported by IIED center, NIT Srinagar.
“Anantnag is thriving with agricultural activities. Despite technology in place, farmers and cultivators are not able to afford the machines and devices. Our center makes affordable as well as efficient innovations,” he said.
Recently the center, with the sponsorship from DC Anantnag, has conducted 31 workshops in various educational institutes across Kashmir including NIT Srinagar, IUST and SSM college.
“In these workshops, we motivate students and show them a way how they should do things. It’s a big thing to transform a creative student into an innovator. For that more and more lab experience should be there,” he said.
They have also made an interaction session between NIT and school students who aspire to be innovators and engineers in future. The club also launches the innovations of other innovators of Kashmir.
An innovation driven start-up by Jehangeer Aurshad with the motive ‘science for all’ caters to the non-science students as well.
He said, “Our lab is not limited to engineering students only. It's open for all. Recently two innovations were made by humanities students. Innovation is for everyone, even for those who are uneducated. Our dream is to reach every innovation and to get every innovator from every home.”
In Srinagar and Bandipora, the labs are running where almost 5000-6000 students are associated. They are connected with a number of institutions including SSM college of Science and Technology.
From smart diapers to de-freezing pipes, Kashovatics also comes up with novel innovations.
The lab has a number of patents under the belt. Till now, they have filed 20 patents for various innovations. Among which 15 are granted and 5 are at the final stage.
During harsh winters, to ensure the uninterrupted supply of water in taps, they came up with pipe de-freezing, an add-on module which doesn’t let the water pipes freeze in winters.
Also, a team of students from the lab made a smart room heater that can provide sufficient heat and with the low voltage requirement, the blowers can be operated on an inverter.
Another group of students made an add-on module which can be fitted with the vehicle to monitor the quality and quantity of the fuel in the tank in order to avoid the fuel theft and adulteration at the fuel stations.
A smart baby cradle was also made by the two students in the lab that alerts the attendants if the baby is exchanged with the other.
Jehangeer further said that in Jammu, Kashovatics is also coming up. “To develop an innovative culture, we should open up more innovative institutions so that we can get innovators from each home. Learning by doing is an interesting thing and can keep students away from evil activities,” he concluded.