Third International Conference on Creativity and Innovations at Grassroots.Date:20th jan.2015

UNDHIYU : NEWSLETTER   Tuesday 20th January

 IIM Ahmedabad January 19-22, 2015

Parallel Sessions  9am – 11am

Session 1        Audi-2, KLMDC          9am – 11am
Civic Innovation in Education (CIV-I)  (Papers 1-5)

Chair:              AnkurSarin                  Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad
Co-Chair:        Elizabeth Mehta          Founder Director, Muktangan

Continuous Evaluation as a Transactional Network: a feedback loop of teacher educators, teachers and students by Elizabeth Mehta &Meenu Thomas, Muktangan

Muktangan ( is an educational trust focusing in the provision of child centred inclusive English medium schooling to underprivileged children, taught by teachers from the same community who then become change agents.  In Ahmedabad there are 7 such schools.  This presentation focused on the importance of development of the teachers in child centred teaching methods.  Muktangan provides one year’s training to students who are later absorbed as teachers.  The training includes their role as teachers, as community members, and as faculty following the Gujarati board syllabi, so the conceptualdevelopment of the teachers is also important.

Feedback to teachers is an important part of their development.  There is a weekly meeting with teachers where this feedback is discussed, and includes assessments of students’ understanding of the curriculum.  The approach is non-hierarchical, collaborative, continuous and developmental.

VigyanSaralikaranPrakalp by InduParashar (Paper in Hindi)
Teaching of science with the support of poems or ballads was adopted as a strategy to counter the problem of less time being given to the teaching of science subjects due to the emphasis given to the teaching of English.  The ballads are supported by animated film to help understanding.  The principal adopted is that science knowledge is not linear as  presented in textbooks, but is all around us.

Schools and textbook publishers in Indore have supported this approach.  10 schools and 2,400 textbooks reaching 20,000 students is the current scale of the adoption of this innovation. Academic results show that there is no difference in attainment between students of different socio-economic backgrounds who studied science with this approach.

Can teachers learn from children, and build upon their curiosity, compassion and empathetic value system?  By Akanksha Agarwal, Design for Change
The presenter is the Research Head of Design for Change, a movement founded in Ahmedabad that empowers children to be the change they wish to see in this world.  Based on a simplified design thinking process, the students are asked to feel the problem that bothers them,, imagine a way to make it better, do the act of change, and share their story of change.

All the material that schools or organisations want to use in adopting this programme are available on line with no charges.  Individuals and organisations in 38 countries have implemented the programme.  A one year training course for teachers will be available as open source.

The benefits that schools who have adopted the Design for Change programme realise are a change in the role of teachers to being more of a facilitator, students express their feelings more clearly, there is greater sharing of decision making, and greater collaboration between students and teachers.

Pratham Open School of Education by Renu Seth, Pratham
Pratham is a NGO founded in 1995 in Mumbai and now has a nation-wide coverage – 20 out of 29 states.  It has developed low cost, replicable models that can be adopted by other organisations, and has thousands of volunteers who implement learning interventions at the grassroots level.  The volunteers are trained and monitored by Pratham.  They are provided with teaching-learning materials and books and are mobilized to reach children in school or unable to use school facilities, and youths who have dropped out of the education system.

The children they target are not being schooled because of economic problems (28%), learning difficulties (39%), problems of access or mobility, or for girls because of marriage (10%).  One of the biggest problems Pratham faces is retention of children which is often due to the attitudes of the parents.  By taking the schooling into the home, parents can also begin to appreciate the value of the education.

Session 2        Class Room-1, KLMDC          9am - 11am
Innovations in Healthcare Devices, Diagnostics and Service Delivery (INHLTH)

Chair:              Richard Fletcher         Faculty, MIT. USA
Co-Chair:        KeyurSorathia Faculty, IIT-Guwahati

There were six presentations in the session which represented the current social health need and hi-tech IT based low cost affordable solutions from India and abroad.

There is direct linkage between minerals from soils, plants, animals and humans through the food chain; A collaborative study between IIM_A, SRISTI, VS and Micronutrient Department of Anand Agriculture University was presented by Dr.Ramani who showed the significance of such linkages in the surveyed village of high & low disease incidences. The study was an approach to establish the crop, fruits and vegetables from high nutrient soil as nutraceuticals for nutrient deficit soil areas.
Dr. Richard Fletcher has shown the following self-care health instruments, these health care devices are mainly for primary care clinic.
·         Cell phone as diagnostic tool; camera based hear rate measurement devices, Stethoscope, other health sensors (lungs, kidney etc)
·         Magic mirror (based on the change in colour of skin)
·         Stress indicators based of pupil size of the eye
·         Vein based Biometrics- eg in India ADHAR
·         Printed Diagnostics for Anaemia & Maternity care: through scan mobile app
·         Non-Invasive Biosensors
·         Neonatal screening (for 1st 72hrs after birth)
·         Biosensors for Environmental monitoring (pollution, heavy metals, ECO MP LIVE)
·         Emergence of behavioural medicine
·         Mental health app: new area relieving without drug (meditation, exercise etc)

All these devices are not for replacement of clinical assessments, but as a screening tool only.

Vikas Karade, Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Mumbai, “Conversion of 2D X-ray image in to 3D, Bone model using Novel Algorithm”.
The need for a 2 D X-ray image of a knee to be converted to a 3D image is essential for surgeons in making decisions about an operation. Its advantages& disadvantages compared with aCT scan was discussed. The image of a 2D X-ray can now be converted to 3D by web demonstration and Tablet based surgery planning app. The average error of the model is 1.1 mm. the device is good for Osteotomy surgery. The system uses mathematical algorithms for the conversion. Normal CT scan takes 500 cross sections images where as for an X-ray 2 to 3 cross sections are enough for imaging, so patients are less exposed to radiation. It can also be applicable for post operational care.

Dr. VP Ramani from Micronutrient Department of Anand Agriculture University showed the linkages of minerals from soils to humans and its probable use in nutrient deficient disease management. A further study is needed to establish the relationship and uses of crops, fruit and vegetable from high nutrient soil for the habitants of low nutrient soils.

Shantanu Pathak, Science for Society, Mumbai “Mobile identification of High Risk Pregnancy-Novel approach to provide at door ANC care and reduce maternal mortality”.
The device is commonly known as Care Mother. It was shown how the devices are working in the field in Maharashtra, in more than 50 villages. The instrument cost is Rs. 5000/-and it is installed at Hegde  Hospital. A video demonstrated how the system is being used in rural villages. It is costing Rs. 100/- only for 0-9 months.

Keyur Sorathiya, IIT, Guwahati “Novel approaches for Inspiring innovations in healthcare”. The devise is commonly known as Chetna. It is empowering for maternal health. The instrument is basically raising awareness among pregnant women about NRHM benefits and educating them about pregnancy care through gesture. Care mother is mobile based where as Chetna is computer based. Patient needs to visit the nearest hospital where it is installed. A video for gesture based entry of patient in the app and related instructions for care was shown. There is one ASHA worker for every 1000 population in rural areas. These health workers link the pregnant women with the nearest hospital where the device is installed.

Prakash Parashar, IIT Delhi, “SCINTILLA- a portable urine analyzer”. Protein urea is a marker of a pathological condition; there are 33 million patients in India due to various reasons, malnutrition is one among them. During pregnancy the blood pressure of women increases substantially and it subsides after delivery. This is due to a high concentration of protein in the urine. The current test available is manual or Dip strip (less reliable), the analyser developed is fast and eliminates the need to carry the sample in a sterile condition to the lab. Scintilla usesa small flash of light to estimate the protein from urine. It is an electromagnetic device. Normal test for protein is costing Rs. 50-100/- whereas this analyser costs Rs. 10/- per sample or Rs. 25-50 at the door step. The device has a LCD based screen with battery power, can be easily used by a doctor. The current cost of device is Rs. 8000/- it can be given as components of kits. The device can also be used in the planning for a caesarean.

Session 3        Class Room-Wing 11, committee room         9am – 11am
Community Solidarity and Grassroots Institutions (CSOL-GI)

Chair:Catherine A. Odora Hoppers  DST/NRF South African Research Chair in                                                                          Development Education, University of South  Africa
 Co-Chair:        Astad Pastakia                        Advisor, SRISTI, Development Consultant

Challenges of Grassroots Innovation: Designing effective organizations for weaver community by Sumit Mitra, Associate Professor, IIM Kozhikode, Kerala

Sumit Mitra presented the case of Jaipur Rugs, Co ( founded by Nand Kishore Chaudhary whose business model links grassroots artisans with world markets.  A wide range of carpets are produced by 40,000 artisans in 600 villages in remote areas.  80% of the artisans are female. Jaipur Rugs came to international attention through CK Prahalad’s work on BOP.

The family business has expanded on the basis that if more carpets are woven, more livelihoods are created.  The business is now at a juncture where organizational transformations are needed to overcome problems created by size.  Design effectiveness is now more important to maintain and increase their markets

The current business model includes payment of competitive wages, skills training, education and health care provision.  (In their education system they use the language of weaving to teach literacy.)  Weavers are paid for performance and they pay for their own looms with support from the company. The weavers have contracts with the company and the freedom to sell to other buyers.  Jaipur is competitive with other purchasers and provides guaranteed wages 365 days a year.  Procurement of yarns and their dyeing is centralized, and kits with yarns and design instructions are distributed to the weavers through the branches. The finished carpets are collected by the branch.

The company is now facing two challenges – from the market where demand is for newer, unique designs at lower prices and high quality; and from the weavers who increasingly have alternative choices of employment and demand higher incomes.  Retention of skilled workers is exacerbated when infrastructure development reaches the remote village, as soon as villages are connected by metal roads, they lose their weavers.

An organisational intervention is now being introduced by the creation of an intermediary between the weavers and head office.  The role of BunkarSakhi is filled by women weavers with leadership and communication skills, and with a basic education provided through Jaipur Rug.  They operate in their own or nearby villages as coordinators and trainers - they communicate the founder’s mentality, provide feedback to head office on problems faced by the weavers, and can be promoted to Quality Supervisor.  They support the introduction of more complex designs, and overcome problems faced by the weavers in improving quality.  They can also assist in the change in the self-perception of the weaver as an employee/contractor to that of an entrepreneur.

Limits to Innovation in Indian Handicrafts: Issues in Exclusion in Two Rural Clusters by Keshab Das, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad

Rural clusters account for 94% of all clusters in India making a significant contribution to local income and employment.  However the rural economy faces various forms of exclusion from the mainstream economy: spatial (remoteness), sectoral (specialization based on local raw materials that creates a risk of obsolescence), systemic (marginalized by state institutions), seasonal (material availability, demand)

What constrains innovation in these clusters? The reasons are contextual and to do with the characteristics of the artisans themselves.  Key issues: actors are not seen as entrepreneurs or innovators, lack of organized information in structured databases, lack of reliable statistics, poor government policy measures. They are an example of subsistence industrialization which needs to be overcome by state provision of infrastructure, and support for access to markets.

Currently studying two clusters Molela in Rajasthan - terra-cotta items (400 years old cluster) and Barpeta in Assam - bamboo crafts - utility and decorative items.  Both have characteristics of little innovation, no intermediaries, low and uncertain incomes, lack of collective action, poor institutions and business services, lack of raw materials.  But there are instances of successful clusters in the same areas - why does blue pottery flourish while these older clusters continue to struggle?

Trying to create a Cluster Grid, a database - with fields for sector, space and support system
Innovations – drive and driver: journey to develop a unique system of plant moisture application through System of Water for Agricultural Rejuvenation (SWAR) by K S Gopal
Centre for Environment Concerns, Hyderabad

The Centre for Environment Concerns has developed several tools to eliminate drudgery such as scythe, wheel-based trolleys for shifting materials, digging tools and an automated plant watering system.  Rural women, for whom these tools were designed, are not purchasing them, instead large farmers, government institutions such as the forest department, and corporations are more interested.

SWAR, a system of water for agricultural rejuvenation, has been developed to conserve water – it requires only a 10th of the water used in drip irrigation. The concept is based on the delivery of moisture to the roots of the plant in the soil.  The current experiment is based on the growth of trees by delivery of water to the roots through a system of water bottles and pipes .  The next development will be a method of delivering moisture to vegetables whose roots system is much shallower.

Traditional Governments and the natural resources management in Manipur: A case study of Sekmai village by Rakesh S. Khwairakpam, Doctoral Candidate, Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, India

This is a study of the resumption of control over community forest and river areas by traditional governments in Loi tribal areas in Manipur.  Traditional governments have continued to co-exist with the 3 tier system originating in colonial times

The Phamneiba traditional government is the oldest elected body and is represented by 12 male members - wives of elected members are also members of the traditional assembly - all land resources were controlled by them - land records maintained by them- land is allocated for farming - often in opposition to governmental agencies.

Traditional governance structures offer lessons for contemporary institutions

Chairman’s comments : How do we create modern institutions that take traditional artefacts to the market? Pro-poor value chains have been created in India, for example Rang Sutra by Sumita Ghosh.  She created a producer company where all the artisans are co-owners, and a private company to do the marketing creating market-led livelihood promotion through professional marketing.  Different institutions are needed at different stages to form a pro-grassroots modern supply chain.

Parallel Sessions      11.30  – 13.00

Session 1        Audi-2, KLMDC          11.30 – 13.00
Civic Innovation in Education (CIV-l)  (Papers 6 – 10)

Chair: AnkurSarin                              Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad
Co-Chair:SeshagiriMadhusudhan          Education Specialist, UNICEF, Chhatisgarh

RTE Watch: A civil society engagement to strengthen RTE Implementation in Chhattisgarh

Civil Society and Education Reforms in India

The Story of Roshni: A Humble Attempt to Light the Lamp of Knowledge

Education through an Integrated, Micro-level Approach by VirendarKhatana, Project Director , Joint Initiative for Village Development (JIVA)

Mobile matters: BRAC experiences in Education

Session 2        Class Room-1, KLMDC          11.30 – 13.00
Doctoral Colloquium (DC)

Chair:              David Martin               Founder, M CAM, USA
Co-Chair:        P. M. Shingi                Head, FLAME Centre for Executive Education, Pune

Session 3        Wing-11, Committee Room    11.10 – 13.00
Indian Ecosystem for Inclusive Innovation (IN-ECO)

Chair:              Harkesh Mittal             Head, National S & T Entrepreneurship Development                                                          Board
Co-Chair:        Vipin Kumar                Director, National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF-                                                 India)

Exploring the Grassroots Innovation of Bamboo Bicycle in Imphal City of Manipur: Geography of Sustainability Transitions Perspective by ThounaojamSomokanta,
PhD Research Student, CSSTIP (Centre for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy), School of Social Sciences, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar

This is a case of grassroots environmental activism by the Manipur Cycle Club to create a cycle friendly city in Imphal.  Part of this movement was the idea to develop a bamboo bicycle which has failed due to lack of funds and support from government.

Phenomenological Approach to Study the Essence of Grassroots Innovations by Rajul Joshi, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India

This is a PhD thesis now at the examination stage. The study focused on the experience of grassroots innovators and what sense they make of that experience.  She has identified implications for policy makers which are: livelihood challenges and capabilities need to be recognised; there is a need to create opportunities for learning, especially business skills; need to encourage and nurture innovation-led rural entrepreneurship; and there is a need to create participative platforms.  Policies must reflect empathetic concerns.

Understanding Modes of Creativity for Effective Innovation at Grassroots by Peer MohideenSathikh,  Acting Associate Chair (Academic), School of Art, Design and Media School of Art, Design and Media College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

Inclusiveness is an issue for development directed innovation.  This is best achieved through culture focused innovations to gain social acceptance at the grassroots.  The presentation focused on different dimensions of creativity – artistic and idea creativity, their bases and values.

Identification and Acceleration of Farmer Innovativeness in Upper East Ghana by Tobias Wünscher, Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Farmer innovation contests have been held and will continue to be held to stimulate innovative behaviour.  These have been successful in generating highly innovative solutions to problems such as pest control, onion seed conservation, recycling of fish pond water.

Identification of anti-cancer formulation for plant derived extracts using in vitro and in vivo melanoma and breast cancer models.Dr. Gopal Kunda, Scientist G, Laboratory of Tumour Biology, Angiogenesis  and Nanomedicine Research, National Centre of Cell Research, Pune

NIF is providing plant extracts from remotes areas of India for testing for inhibition of growth of cancer cells in breast cancer and melanoma.  The test results are positive and the treatment may be launched as medical food rather than as a medicine and be distributed as open source for others to commercialize.

Innovative Service Delivery Model to Serve the Rural People: The VLE Model by Dr.Ajith P., Assistant Professor, KIIT School of Rural Management, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar 751024, Odisha, &Dr. Anita Goyal, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management,, Lucknow, India
Development of village level entrepreneurship will lead to better utilisation of all resources in rural areas.  This needs a supporting ecosystem involving NGO’s, panchayats, and support for women.  A partnership with the consumer (partsumer) is also recommended.

Parallel sessions  14.00  – 15.30

Session 1        Audi-2, KLMDC          14.00 – 15.30
Civic Innovation in Education (CIV-II)  (papers 11-14)

Chair:C. K. Koshy     Member, Governing Board, Gujarat Grassroots Innovation                                                  Augmentation Network (GIAN)
Co-Chair: AnkurSarin      Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad

Educational Transformers: Dare to Dream
Value of a child centric curriculum.  How to redesign the system, which syllabi, more teacher training, better use of technology, how to engage students

Plugging Leakage of Vulnerable Student Supply Chain: An Innovative Interventional Initiative
Issues of slum children’s education, pressure created by completion of the syllabi and dealing with slow learners, class contact hours

Changing Dynamics of Higher Education Research and Innovation in India: Key Issues
Rote learning, examination patterns, highly structured curriculum kill independent thinking and smother innovative ideas.

Shift from Structured to Unstructured Education System
Shift from what to think to how to think; minimum classroom teaching, participatory learning, student mentor programme, course material to focus on problem solving

Session 2        Class Room-1, KLMDC          14.00 – 15.30
Doctoral Colloquium (DC)

Chair: David Martin,              Founder, M CAM, USA
          Vishal Gupta               Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad
          ViswanathPingali         Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad

Session 3        Wing-11, Committee Room    14.00 – 15.30
Design for Making a Difference: Institutional Context and Product Design (D MAD-II)

Chair:Aguinaldo dos Santos Head of the Design & SustainabilityResearch                                                                       Center, Federal University of Parana, Brazil
Co-Chair:        Amit Gar                                 IIMA faculty

Organizing grassroots design: Epistemic practices employed by members during the design of technological innovations within grassroots communities by Prashant Rajan, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of English | Communication Studies, Iowa State University

Grassroots innovations represent community-based and user-driven model of technology design based on empathy and social responsibility.

Design of an efficient and ergonomic bangle-making furnace and tools by Davinder Pal Singh, Shrey Gulati, S. K. Saha*, M. R. Ravi, Sangeeta Kohli, RuTAG, IIT Delhi

Davinder Singh described this project to improve the performance of a bangle making furnace and the working conditions of the artisans.  This success story has developed an interest in the next generation of students who would normally avoid undertaking a project in a rural area.

The Himalayan Ecology Project by Parag Anand and Aditi Singh
18 design students were taken to Himachal Pradesh to live in a village for 10 days.  This case sensitized the students to the needs of the rural community.  Their success in identifying solutions was directly proportional to the degree of empathy they generated with the villagers.

Parallel sessions       16.00  – 18.00

Session 1        Audi-2, KLMDC          16.00 – 18.00
Civic Innovation in Education (CIV-II) (Papers 15-19)

Chair:  K B Jinan        Visiting Faculty, NID-Ahmedabad
Chair:  AnkurSarin      Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad

Innovation in education: Introducing creative training in language, intellect, and originality

Changing role of the teacher in building environmental leadership skills amongst students - experiences from student environmental action 

Empowering Quality of Primary Education at the Grassroots Level Through Volunteer Educators: An Interpretive Case Based Analysis

Creating conditions for creativity in schools by responding to the inherent nature of child and biological nature of learning: Lessons from indigenous cognitive conditions and the re-imagining schools initiative at Sadhana village school, Pune

Relevance of Gandhian Education System and Economic Model in Contemporary Times: A case study
Tenets of Gandhian education: free primary school education, earning while learning, vocational education, emphasis on morality, education for women, should benefit the whole of society.

Session 2        Class Room, RJMCEI                        16.00 – 18.00
Integrating Women's Knowledge Creativity and Innovations in the Innovation Ecosystem (WCIN)

Chair:  Asha Kaul        Faculty, IIM-Ahmedabad
Co-Chair: Usha Jumani   Member, Governing Council, ETASHA Society, New Delhi

LindileNdabeni :Mainstreaming gender for inclusive innovation and development
  • South African economy resembles a dual economy and is racial capitalist economy with multiple inequalities -linked to the development of technical skills and building of an urban based manufacturing capacity for a minority group.
  • racial economy monopolized by the commodity markets, R&D sector, technical know-how
  • economic policy goal, gender mainstreaming -aim at increasing the number of businesses owned by women and improve  access to job opportunities for other women to boost productivity, and enhance the demand for goods and services –Technology for Women in Business (TWIB)
  • majority of South African women -involved in the subsistence economy and this reinforces their confinement in the low-value and low-paid sectors
  • Stresses that women’s work in various value chains is often invisible
  • It emphasizes the need to enhance the visibility of women entrepreneurs
  • gender mainstreaming is part of the broader national transformation efforts
  • bridging the economic divide, create a more integrated economy, facilitate broader participation, equity, redress, and the overall restructuring of the South African economy
  • Women Controlled networks-not many, rural based
  • No self help groups
  • Co-operatives which raise money
  • Products can’t be brought because of places being remote
  • Asha Kaul: With education, women themselves start speaking; you don’t need to guide them anymore on the business issues
Md. Mizanur Rahman :Governance by Women Leaders in Union Parishad in Bangladesh: Unheard Voices and Grim Realities from the Grassroots
          how do WLs contribute to governance in the UP (lowest level of government in rural in Bangladesh)?
          Qualitative method taken for the research: Results
          Shared information with community people


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