SRI being a Science & Technology based organization, innovation has always been its focus. Innovations of SRI can be classified into three groups,

Innovative Concepts & Institutions

Product Innovation

System & Process Innovation

1. Innovative Concepts & Institutions

• Technology Resource Centre (TRC)

trcBased on the concept note on role of Science & Technology in rural development, presented to Smt. Indira Gandhi and subsequently a detail approach paper on Integrated Appropriate Technology Centre presented to Sri Rajiv Gandhi the first TRC in India was established at SRI by Ministry of Rural Development. The distinctive feature of TRC is that it facilitates simultaneous participation of scientists & engineers, administrators & promoters, and village level users. Thus the development research is conducted jointly by all three, enhancing its technical reliability, promotional support and social acceptability.

• Rural Technology Park (RTP)

rtpThis programme, now sponsored by DST and other Ministries and supported by all States, originated during a meeting with the Prime Minister, Sri. P. V. Narsimha Rao. The issue was how to improve the accessibility of the poorer sections in villages to modern day science and technology. The document on RTP prepared by SRI identified a block to be the zone of influence for each RTP, catering to the needs of 100,000 people. It argued that accessibility must ensure that they can learn, see, touch and play with the technology to generate sufficient confidence before adopting it. The first RTP was established at Angara Block of Ranchi District.

• Vocational Education Centre at Tertiary level

To overcome the increasing unrest among village youth, SRI has developed the details of a new educational institute. The modality has been shifted from ‘Teaching Shop’ concept to ‘Learning Workshop’ one. The institute will help self-employment and wage-employment, and simultaneously ensure career opportunity through university level education. The details have been submitted to Indian Council for Rural Institutes, Hyderabad, and is a modern version of Gandhiji’s Hindusthani Talim System.

• CSR and Peripheral Development

SRI considers CSR to be distinctly different from philanthropy. In SRI’s concept, CSR must lead to increase in business efficiency which should get reflected in the annual report of the company. The planning for CSR should be based on Social Animosity Factors and implementation of the schemes should be through a partnership arrangement with Voluntary sector.

2. Product Innovations

• Enveloping Arch Foundation for Small Dams

A double layer Arch foundation for small dams with a factor of reliability 0.92 was designed. Being a simple masonry work, it can be built everywhere at a low cost with local material.

• Random Rubble-filled Blocks for Superstructure

Random Rubble-filled BlocksRandom rubbles are available freely in many areas. They are molded into blocks of 29 x 19 x 14 cm using lean cement mixture. These blocks have compressive strength of 120 kg/cm2. About 50% saving is achieved in concrete consumption compared to conventional concrete blocks.


• Rubble-sand Compacted Foundation for Village houses

Polylined foundation trench is filled and compacted with rubble stone and rough sand which is suitable for a two storied building. The cost of foundation is negligible.

• Roofing with Concrete Rafter and Planks

Optimally designed rafters (upto 14 ft span) and planks are cast on the ground. They are placed on the walls and a 1 inch thick screed concrete cover completes the roof. Shuttering and expert concrete workers are not needed. Cost reduces by 30%.

• Polylined Rain Water Harvester

The rainfall over 11,000 sq. ft. can fill a 2000 sq. ft., 5 ft deep storage. To facilitate the collection, the plot has to be sloped. No outside water is needed and the structure can be made anywhere. A polythene sheet lining reduces seepage and a cover reduces evaporation. It matches the requirement of NREGA and can be made anywhere in India.

• Flexi dam : Post Monsoon Rivulet Water Diverter

flexi damOne litre/sec flow in a hilly rivulet means 77 lakh litre of water in 3-month crop cycle. Water storage is not needed, only flowing water (Often just visible) is collected and conveyed to lower level fields through pipes. The collection structure is removed during floods to wash off silt. Same structure can be used again and again.

• Washer Pump

It can lift water from open dug wells of depth up to 40 to 45 ft @ 1 lit/sec which matches most of the well recharging rate. The innovation covers the design of the washer, top and bottom structures.

• Manual Lac Processing Station

Three operations, namely, separating bark from twigs, lac crystals from bark and washing the crystals are integrated in this machine. Differential roller surface speed with self-adjustable gap facilitates twigs of different diameter to be processed with ease. A husband-wife team in remote forest areas can cater to 15 to 20 lac growers. Production is 8-10 kg/hr of finished seed lac, whose quality is approved by Indian Lac Research Institute and Industries for export.

• LED Reading Lamp with Solar PV Charging

Designed for village school children. It consumes 1.5 to 2 watts of power, providing 30-35 Lux intensity. It can be hanged from the ceiling at different heights for different purposes and is free from electronic circuitry. The charging station uses booster storage battery charged by a PV panel and can charge 10 LED lamps at a time. The PV panel is housed in a theft proof mounting.

• Mahua Kismis

Mahua flower is extensively used for the production of country liquor. Simple processing preserves the flower for 12 months. Boiling with low sugar solution in small quantities produces Kismis, easily sellable by (mainly) tribal women in local markets.

• Karanj oil as Diesel Substitute

It is now possible to run a Diesel Engine with Karanj and other vegetable oils, with only marginal addition to the engine at pre injection level. Oil efficiency (Output/kg) and Energy efficiency (Output energy/input energy) is much higher than Diesel operation with marked reduction in pollutants of the exhaust.

• System & Process Innovation

SRI is the pioneer in promoting low cost sanitary napkin in India, Starting in 1998. We have now a second generation product. All production machines are designed at SRI Raw material search was another task.
Machinery has been supplied to 28 groups and more than 800 women and adolescents are trained. Another 25 sets of equipments is now ready for dispatch.

3. System & Process Innovations

• Participatory Perspective Plan Preparation (P4 Exercise)

It is an accurate village level planning document providing demographic, as well as, land use mapping, and is undertaken by community itself. It can be used for design of infrastructures, economic and social development planning, and provides a clear quantified picture of the poverty structure.

• Commercial Mushroom Spawn Production at Village level

Mushroom cultivators in villages demand Commercial spawn of high quality and on time. The equipments are costly and hence need high level of production for economic viability. Systems for the sterilization of the strata and inoculation with Mother spawn have been made extremely easy and manageable by village women.

• Hydraulic Control of Eco-hatchery for Fish Breeding

Breeder and Spawnnery for fish are extremely costly because they need guaranteed continuous supply of water in large quantity. The main cost goes for water pumping in large storages. Making use of the undulated topography of plateau area, an extremely simple system of water management has been developed. Care is needed to design the system and its location based on hydrological parameters. Standards have been established.

• Large Reservoir Fishery

flexi dam This calls for a complex management system which combines Biological Control of water environment, Health Control for input seed and Social control for retrieval. It is further aggravated due to pollution from agriculture, industries and cities located in the catchments area. The system developed tries to bring about a win-win situation for all the stake holders.

• Flow-net Analysis for Ground Water

Ground water movement is volume flow in a non-homogeneous field, and adheres to the rectilinear property of equipotentials and flow lines. Study of exposed water surface levels indicate the shape of equipotentials and helps in drawing the flow lines. Without electrical measurements, one can identify potential locations for ponds, wells and deep tube wells.

• Teaching Aid for Credit Management

The term “Bank” to the WSHGs promoted by SRI and associates, refers to a 4-chamber steel box each operated by two persons. They represent Deposit, Interest, Capital base, and Project. The members use this bank to understand Credit management.

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