Panaji: Where have you seen a Royal Enfield Bullet plough a farm? Or used as a pressure cooker to whip up a frothy espresso coffee?
Seems impossible? Well, making the seemingly impossible possible is a part of the daily jugaad (the famous Indian knack of technical improvisation) for the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) India, which is promoting its innovations at the Konkan Fruit Festival here in Goa.
To put the two innovations in perspective, Mansukhbhai Jagani from Gujarat has replaced his pair of bullocks with a 350 cc bullet motorcycle, which he kickstarts every day to plough his 1.25 acre groundnut farm. The bullet's rear wheel has been replaced by a set of two smaller wheels joined by an axle, behind which the metal plough digs into the earth.
And the pressure cooker espresso coffee machine innovation has its roots in Bihar where Mohammad Rozadeen makes his foaming milky espresso coffee for his customers in Eastern Champaran district. Heated on a kerosene stove, Rozadeen's pressure cooker emits jets of steam from a longish copper snout running from the cooker lid into the jar of milk, making it hot and frothy.
"We track down innovators throughout rural areas. Our honeybee network is responsible for keeping an eye on rural innovations," said Udit Shah of NIF.
The pressure cooker espresso machine costs between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500, depending on the quality of the pressure cooker used.
Next to the espresso machine are three cycles lined up. Only to the naked eye they appear to have been mechanically mated either with a seaplane or a river-paddle boat.
According to Shah, the cycle-innovations are still being honed into marketable products which will be up for sale.
"They are flood bicycles. There have been many floods in India. We are developing these. One of the cycles is an innovation from Bihar, while the other is from Uttar Pradesh," Udit said.
While the Bihar innovation has sea plane like platforms alongside the wheels, the Uttar Pradesh innovation has a paddle rotor in the rear (which whirs into action when you pedal the machine).
The cycle is designed to stay afloat with the help of two fabricated plastic buoys.
"When we select the idea, the credit of the core idea remains with the innovator. We only use science to make the innovations more perfect in order to make them marketable on a larger scale so that the innovator can make money," Udit said.
The NIF was founded under the aegis of the central ministry for science and technology in 2000, to help make India an inventive and creative society and a global leader in sustainable technologies without social and economic handicaps.
Raghunath Mashelkar, a former head of the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), heads the governing board of NIF while some of the board members are entrepreneur Kishore Biyani and IITan Devang Khakar among other scientists, innovators and bureaucrats.