Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Comments on (Draft) National Education Policy

July 31, 2019

Comments on

(Draft) National Education Policy

 Part I

School Education

1.0 General Comments

1.1 As nicely indicated by you, children who stayed behind in early schooling tend to stay behind throughout the school years. This is the reason for some children enrolled in primary schools do not even attain foundational literacy and numeracy. So we need a quality Early Child Care and Education, (ECCE).

In addition, we should also have special out-of-hours classes for these children till at least they pass out of 2nd standard.

1.2 Proposed 5+3+3+4 pattern of education would be very suitable to attend to these deficiencies within the time they finish the first five years of education up to 2nd standard.

We may also encourage a few NGOs and charity organisation to do this ‘vidya daan’ to the affected communities. There should be more stress to do such daans instead of only food. For example the Charities should concentrate also on donating age-appropriate educational toys like rattlers, musical toys, and zoological toys. They may also try and conduct charity crèches for these children for at least 2 hours a day. Slowly this could be increased to more hours with voluntary help from a few parents of these children.  This should be done for a minimum of 3 months before they can join pre-KG play-school (at the age of 3), for 6 months before they can join KG class (at the age of 4) and 9 months before they can join Preparatory class (at the age of 5). Such preparation should be made compulsory for children wishing to join 1st standard at the age of 6 or later.

1.3 This early childcare and education (ECCE) should include more localized arts, songs, stories, rhymes, puzzles, and games so that they will be able to relate to the same. Once students fall behind on foundational literacy and numeracy, they tend to maintain flat learning curves for years perpetually unable to catch up. Finally they lose interest and drop out.

You should have proper teachers who could recognize these deficiencies early enough and correct them in time by taking extra care and if required extra classes. Nutrition is also an important part for these children. So both a nutritious breakfast and a midday meal should be served to them. You could also ensure parents of participation in these programs. You should also have a program to re-integrate these droppers back into the school.

1.4 All students start their schooling with home language. They can start with English language at 6th standard, which is important. The third language of the so-called 3-language formula may be introduced at the 9th standard. Here in the student should have an option as below:

Hindi – if he wants to learn a commonly spoken language of the North

Mother tongue – If it is not same as local language

Sanskrit or Tamil – or any other classical language

Any other Indian Language –

Herein the student has to decide on one language to be continued in 11th and 12th standard, where he will study the language deeper to a literary level. The High School should have facility to teach at least five languages as below:

Local Language, English, Hindi, Sanskrit or Any classical language,

Any other Indian Language.

1.5 Schools in south should make Hindi available for study and similarly Schools in Hindi States should make at least one Southern language available for study.

1.6 It was nice to see the amount of stress given on quality, in training of teachers. The teachers’ education program and those colleges should be totally rehashed. The teachers posted in rural areas should be given additional incentives such as home near the school and other basic facilities that may not be available in the village Your idea of four year professional B.Ed course is very good.

1.7 It was nice to see the draft to include a whole chapter on obtaining social justice and equality through inclusive education. You have considered the following groups under this category: Rural girls, SC/ST pupils, tribal areas, children with special needs, transgender children.

As these are under-represented and deprived people, the education system should have much smaller classes, with special teachers for them.

2.0 My major comments are as below:

2.1 I am giving below an extract from my blog of 2018, ( This is about the Literacy/Numeracy level of education. I assume that in the suggested scheme of 5+3+3+4 system, by the time the student progresses to 8th standard he would have achieved the required level of Literacy/Numeracy. Based on this assumption I have edited slightly my write-up as below:

“Literacy/Numeracy: Literacy generally means ‘knowing to read and write’. But in the present days, it includes literacy with numbers and computer literacy etc. One should have basic knowledge to deal with one’s own life as independently as possible. Everyone should have basic knowledge of banking, finance, health and hygiene and such other things. The syllabus should also include, Citizenship Training, Physical Training (Yoga), and Moral Science. This basic education should be achieved within the elementary/secondary (8th Std) school stage. This education is a must for all and we should aim for 100% ‘literacy’ in this sense and not just reading and writing. Hence such elementary/secondary schooling should be mass-based and should be very in-expensive, if not totally free, with incentives like mid-day meals etc.”

2.2 In the draft NEP the School structure of 5+3+3+4 is very nicely explained. While we agree to take care to see that there will be no more drop outs at least up to the 5+3 stage, we cannot avoid such drop outs in latter classes. Such drop outs, at least after we take care of our defect in ECCE and early schooling, will not be for the same reasons as discussed in the draft. It may be a genuine lack of interest, or increased interests in non-school activities, like arts & sports.

Hence in the scheme of things there should be more exit points. For a child who wants to take up his family profession of, say Jewellery, after his/her formal school education, a path should be provided. Similarly a carpenter’s child may aspire to become a furniture designer after his formal schools. The paths to be framed for these professions will also be open to others who show interest. A jeweller’s son can aspire to become a sculptor and what an excellent combination it will make when his ideas of Jewellery is adapted to his new trade of a sculptor. This will break the caste barrier and biases for any kind of trade, even when it happens to be leather work, which at the basic level, is looked down up on. I am giving below another extract from my same blog as above:

“Those who have completed the ‘Literacy’ level education may branch off to skilled trades depending on their aptitude and family tradition. For example a jeweller’s son, if he wants to inherit his family trade, he may take up training on jewellery; same thing with carpentry etc. But the training on these trades should be more formalized than just being hereditary. There should be authorized tradesman-ship certification, to enable them to commence their trade in any place. This is not to establish caste-based trades. On the contrary this kind of training and education will break this caste based trade systems, as anyone interested can take up this trade after proper training and certification. Can you think of a caste based electricians? Have you seen anybody asking for a certified mason or a plumber? Even if we look for some certified carpenter can we get one? No is the answer for all. Authorized Industrial Training Institutes established in every municipal area can offer such certified short-term courses. We can involve experienced traditional tradesmen also in this teaching process to teach some of their traditional skills. These certificate holders will fill the basic needs of many house-holders and other small business groups. Such training institutes should be established in every taluk either by local govt.’s or by authorized private parties.”

2.3 We cannot assume every person will complete 5+3+3+4 Schooling. Even if they do it, will they enrol in college for higher education? It depends on their performance and interests. Again does the country or society need so many graduates? If the student wants to take up a clerical job in MSMEs he can as well branch of here, as he will be already aged 18 or more. Based on his experience and performance in his career he progresses further. Those who want to do practical technical work may branch off even earlier say on completion of 10th standard and join Polytechnic Institutes to do his diploma courses. By the age of 19 he will also be job ready with a technical diploma. Now to make this point clear I give below the extract of from my same blog:

“At the end of this education, students are ready for taking up jobs, mainly clerical. They fill the need for support staff in any organization. With on-the-job training, some of them are able to rise further in their carrier. But still, depending on the type of business of the organization, their lack of professional skills sometimes lead to lack of passion in the process. Still we need these people, lots of them, in any organization. These are generally people who complete their high schools or preliminary college education. Many high schools will be required in every small towns and districts. Even night schools for self employed pupils will be necessary. If the school education is done purposefully, college education may not always be necessary for these kinds of jobs. For those who have the initiative for learning more and improving their carrier, part-time college education should also be made available.”

“Those who have completed 10th Std high school may branch off to professional diploma courses in advanced areas such as fabrication, forging and foundries, assembly of machines, manufacturing of spare parts in different areas of engineering. 3-year Diploma courses as existing in the present day Polytechnic Institutes would very well fill this need. These students will also have opportunities open for higher professional education and training. Such polytechnics should be established in every district in several specialized areas.”

“Those who have completed high school with merit and wants to go for higher education may opt for professional degree courses. In these courses proper scientific, engineering, commercial or administrative education will be offered with some specialization in the final years of this 4-year course. On completion of this professional degree course, the student should be able to join any major scientific engineering, commercial or public service establishments and assist them in all their professional activities with minimum training. After some experience they may even establish themselves, on their own, in their chosen profession.”

2.4 Sex education as a part of High School Curricula is not discussed in this document. If found desirable to include the same, then I wish to give me views briefly, as extracted from my blog:

“……   It is quite dangerous in the present context to leave the youth to learn the aspects of sex on their own, from the society around them. Since such a type of responsible social set-up has long broken down, it is the duty of the society to find an alternative. High Schools are being considered as one of those places where such an education on sex could be imparted. In proceeding to provide such a system of sex education, a lot of thought should be given in commencing, maintaining and improving such a system. We should be careful about four major aspects of this education: they are a) the content, b) the candidate, c) the class and d) the counsellor.”

The Content

“….  Care should be taken to see that it does not kindle undue passions among the youth undergoing such education. It should respect the institution of marriage and should not encourage sub-normal and abnormal sexual behaviours. ….” The broad contents is proposed as below

The biology of sex

The physiology of sex

The psychology of sex

Sex and moral values

Sexual infections and deceases

Conception and Contraception

The contents of sex education as proposed above may be discussed by a panel of doctors, biologists and social scientists and a final list of contents may be evolved.

The Candidate

“…. We should allow our children to remain as children for as long a period of time as possible. In a highly populated and poor country like ours we wish to maintain a marriageable age of 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys. Considering these facts we may say, sex education may start only at the age of 15 for both boys and girls.” ….. “However the age, at which to start the sex education should be left to the decision of the parents.”

The Class

“Sex education classes should be held separately for boys and girls, at different places and at different times. This will ensure a higher acceptance from the parents of the boys and girls. The children should be taught to use the books and course material discretely to avoid misuse by other younger children and non students.”

The Counsellor

The counsellors (or teachers) for sex education should be selected with utmost care. We should have only male teachers for boys and female teachers for girls. The teachers should have impeccable moral values. They should generally be happily married persons. They should have undergone special training in sexology.

In our country, i.e., India, with an ancient culture and a largely conservative population, we have to approach the subject of sex education with great care.

Part 2

Higher Education

2.0 Capacity Planning for Professional Courses

In sec 16.2, the document spends just half a page for capacity planning of professionals. While it is understood the authors may not have all the inputs available to make such a capacity plan, they can always evolve a methodology for the same. As an example: Let us assume every year, some 10000 children of about 3 years of age enter the school curriculum of 5+3+3+4 years, from one district of India. Our intention is for all these children complete their schooling up to 8th standard, i.e., up to 5+3+3. If we allow for some of these students to branch off to other streams of education and training, we may plan for about 8000 students per year to enter High school level in this district. After 10th std we may allow for another 1000 students to branch off to diploma courses. Out of the remaining 7000 another 1000 may take a pause on completion of 12th Std to take up some job. We should encourage at least half of them to take up off campus classes later in their life. Hence it works out that at least we should plan for 6000 seats per district for college education, after 5+3+3+4 schooling.

The allocation as shown in the Table below, is only an arbitrary one, but can be improved as we get reliable field data. All are just guesstimate for a single district of India. Hope the committee can give such guidelines for capacity planning of professional courses.

Table 3.1

Subject Graduate Courses Masters option Doctorate Option
Teaching          200



Legal & Humanitites          200
physical sciences         1000
Commerce         1000
Information Technology         1000
Biological Sciences / Agriculture           500
Engineering          1000
Medical & Health Care profession           500
Management            600
Total Strength per Dist  per year          6000    600 60


Making it Happen 

4.0 Corporate Educational Responsibility

Nowadays the involvement of Industries in education has reduced to just campus recruitments. “85% campus recruitments”, the ads for some professional colleges blare as a means of catching students. When campuses prepare students for the need of the Industries, should not the Industries do their responsibility towards education? Yes, there are some private universities run by industrial houses. But what about their contribution to other education and research institutes, precious nothing. Basically, Industrial Houses can help education and research in three ways:

  1. They can offer deputation and part-time employment in their operations or in their R&D dept, to the concerned faculty members in their field of industry. This way it helps the faculty and the institution to gain knowledge on the need of the industry both in training the students and guiding the research.
  2. They can support research activity in their field by offering grants and scholarships.
  3. They can offer special study leave for their employees for full time studies in selected Institutes. They may also depute some of their employees for targeted courses and educational workshops conducted by professional institutes.

This can be included as an obligatory Corporate Education Responsibility (very much as Corporate Social Responsibility). Corporate companies can be considered for tax-breaks for the expenses incurred by them for these purposes.

Comments From:

L V Nagarajan B.Sc., B.E., M.Tech.,


Email – (

Web site – (


Lost Votes – Indian Elections 2019

March 5, 2019

I am attempting to make a flow chart showing how to achieve reliable, safe and secure on-line voting process to help Absentee Voters, Early Voters and Lazy Voters.

  1. I am Mr. Sarkar, on transfer to Delhi. My family is still in Lucknow. Hence I wish to vote in my Lucknow constituency.
  2. I am Ms. Meenakshi. There is a marriage in the family on the day of election. I will be out of town. I don’t want to miss my vote in Madurai.
  3. I am Mr. Busy Bee, too busy (or too lazy) to stand in a queue to vote. But I still want to vote. Of course I am in Mumbai.

They should all register for on-line voting at least one month in advance with – their voter ID, constituency and booth no. and, in which place/constituency they want to cast their vote, etc. This will help including their names in the nationwide on-line voters’ list and more importantly to remove the names from booth-wise voters’ list to prevent misuse. This registration record should be preserved by the online voters

Early voting will be open ten days ahead of the first election date. Arrangement will be made by EC to have one SUPER BOOTH for each constituency for the entire period of election from Early Date to the end of actual last physical polling date at all constituencies. This Super Booth will have nationwide full list of on-line voters, before even the early voting starts.

Election in Lucknow constituency will be, (say) on 12th May 2019, from 08.00 to 17.00. Hence Mr Sarkar can approach the Super Booth (which he has chosen at the time of registration for online voting), on or after 2nd May for Absentee Voting.

Election in Madurai constituency will be on 8th May 2019, from 08.00 to 17.00. Hence Ms. Meenakshi can approach her chosen Super Booth for On-line Voting  on or after 28th Apr.

Election in Mumbai constituency will be on 3rd May 2019, from 08.00 to 17.00. Hence Mr. Busy Bee can approach the chosen Super Booth near his office or residence, for Early Voting on or after 23rd Apr.

Voting process:

Initially for the current elections in 2019, the above on-line voting could be through Paper Ballot. As the process improves we can make it totally through e-processing.

When an online voter approaches the election official at the Super Booth, his (Super Booth) registration for online voting and his voter ID will be verified and his constituency will be cross checked. Then the Ballot paper for the respective constituency will be downloaded and printed out along with a counterfoil with Voter name, photograph and ID. Voter’s finger will be marked with indelible ink. Voter will sign on the counter foil and accept the ballot paper which will have a table of all contestants, with names, parties and symbols as it would appear in an EVM, with some dedicated space for marking his vote. Then he will proceed to the voting room with his ballot paper and vote for his chosen candidate with the seal provided there. He will then fold the paper vertically and then horizontally and come out of the voting room. He will cast his vote into a common ballot box kept outside in the area open to the view of all officials and agents. Thus he completes the voting process and leaves the Super Booth.

At the end of day’s voting, this common ballot box in the Super Booth will be sealed and kept in a safe room with due acknowledgements from all the polling agents. On the next day the safe room will be opened in front of all the polling agents and Ballot box will be kept ready again for voting. This routine should be followed till the end of polling in all the constituencies (or at least till all the registered voters for this Super Booth have cast their vote). At the end of such on-line polling in the Super Booth, the ballot box will be sealed as before and moved to the same counting centre where EVMs/VVPATs are sealed and kept in safe custody with usual security etc.

On the counting day this common ballot box will also be moved out for counting. As the counting starts, the ballot box from the Super Booth will be opened first for physical counting of paper ballots. The paper ballot counts for each constituency polled in this Super Booth, will be officially recorded and sent to  counting centres of the respective constituencies. These on-line vote counts (as conveyed to every cinstituency from different Super Booths all over the country) will be ratified by all the polling agents before consolidating with EVM results and before announcing the final elected winner of the constituency.

Alternately Election Commission may allow two windows of one week each, one at the beginning and another at the end of the polling period, for exercising the franchise by on-line voters at the Super Booth.

Lost Votes

This campaign by Times of India to get the votes of millions of migrant population may pave way for another major reform in our electoral process. Migrant population do matter for a meaningful democracy. The method suggested above takes care of all major concerns about opening our election process for online operation. If EC is not able to achieve even this much before May 2019, Times of India may try this on an unofficial trial basis at least in ten urban areas. This will also become a study material for several political activists and students.

Long Live Indian Demoracy



Innovative Ideas 10, 11, 12 and 13

July 21, 2018

In my first write-up under “Innovative Ideas”, I have proposed how Electric cars can be made affordable by making Batteries as replaceable like Gas cylinders for domestic use. Then in the 2nd write-up “Innovative Ideas 2, 3, 4 and 5”, I have proposed an elevator system with helical rails, a Number Lock with increased security, a Room Air Conditioner with a cool box and lastly, a Gym Charger. In the third write-up  “Innovative Ideas 6, 7, 8, and 9”, I have given my innovative ideas for improvement of passenger convenience in the vast Railways network of India. I hvae already sent them to our efficient Railway Minister Mr. Piyush Goel. You may see these ideas elsewhere in my Blogs. In the present write-up, the 4th in the series, I have given my ideas in several different areas benefitting the citizens in general.

Idea 10 – Elections Eligibility Test (EET)

We are all very much concerned about the quality of candidates contesting various elections and the quality of elected people to Parliament, Assemblies and Local Bodies. My suggestion to improve the situation will be to devise an Elections Eligibility Test (EET). Taking this test may be made voluntary initially. Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) may devise such tests for different levels of governance. (more…)

Innovative Ideas 6, 7, 8 and 9

May 2, 2018

Ideas for Indian Railways

In my earlier write-up under “Innovative Ideas”, I have proposed how Electric cars can be made affordable by making Batteries as replaceable like Gas cylinders for domestic use. Then in the 2nd write-up I have proposed an Elevator System with helical rails, a Number Lock  with increased security, a Room Air Conditioner with a cool box and lastly, a Gym Charger. You may see these ideas elsewhere in my Blogs. In the present write-up, the third in the series, I am giving my innovative ideas for the improvement of passenger convenience in our vast Railways network in India. I hope to send this to our efficient Railway Minister Mr. Piyush Goel.

6.0 Railway Reservation

In India, Railways is one of the most preferred and popular mode of travel between cities and towns. Since it is the most energy efficient mode of mass transport, the Indian Government is rightly giving high importance to this and offering a lot of incentives to promote its use. For the last few years I am observing a very disturbing trend which results in considerable inconvenience to genuine travelers and a loss of revenue for Railways. The amount of last-day-cancellations is on the increase. For example, last December I was travelling from Bengaluru to Chennai by morning Shatabdi express. I was wait-listed and my reservation was confirmed only late on the previous day of my travel. When I came to the train, I found our carriage was almost 2/3rd empty. I thought it may get filled up at the next Bengaluru Cantonment Station. But it still remained half-empty. When I enquired with a co-passenger, he said this is the normal occupancy or slightly less on the particular day. It is apparently due to multiple bookings or safety bookings, mainly by software engineers travelling very frequently between Chennai and Bengaluru. They book multiple tickets 3 months in advance by default, and as the travel day approaches they review their need to travel and cancel the trip with minimum loss. Since the seats become vacant in the last moments, there are no takers, who are ready to travel at such short notice. This happens almost in all express trains between cities causing, as told earlier, considerable inconvenience to genuine travelers and a loss of revenue for Railways. There is very simple solution as suggested below:

Booking Window:

  • Open only 30% of seats for reservation 3 months or 90 days, in advance of travel date
  • Open the next 30% of seats (+ unsold tickets of earlier quota) for reservation 60 days in advance of travel date
  • Open the next 30% of seats (+ unsold tickets of earlier quotas) for reservation 30 days in advance of travel date
  • Last 10% will be the Tatkal quota to be opened only 3 days in advance of travel date

You may compare this with the present practice of opening all the 90% at one stroke 90 days in advance. On very popular and crowded routes the 90% quota will be exhausted in the first 2 or 3 days. Any genuine traveler, who plans his journey, even 8o days in advance, will have to wait for 77 days before going for Tatkal booking. This will force him to think of other modes of transport.

Cancelling Window:

  • Anyone who cancels his reservation within 30 days of his booking, or 30 days in advance of his travel date, whichever is earlier, will get 100% refund including reservation charges. Only a nominal service charge of Rs 10 or so could be billed to him.
  • Anyone who cancels his reservation, between 29 days and 15 days in advance of his travel date will get 100% refund excluding reservation charges plus a nominal service charge.
  • Anyone who cancels his reservation, between 14 days and 5 days in advance of his travel date will get 75% refund excluding reservation charges plus a nominal service charge.
  • Anyone who cancels his reservation, between 4 days and 3 hours in advance of his travel date/time will get 50% refund excluding reservation charges plus a nominal service charge.
  • Anyone who cancels his reservation, between 3 hours in advance of his travel date or a few minutes after departure of train, will get only 25% refund excluding reservation charges plus a nominal service charge.
  • Any cancellation later than the above windows will get refunds at the discretion of Railway Superintendent of the respective stations.
  • After such cancellations as above, the vacated bookings should be allotted to the next passengers in the waiting list immediately at every stage, so that they have adequate time to prepare for their travel.

You may again compare this with present practice. Now even if somebody knows well enough that he will not be travelling on the booked date, he waits upto72 hours before departure of the train before cancelling the tickets. Resale of this ticket in such a short notice will not happen and eventually Railway loses a customer. With computerized booking, such intelligent choices are very easy and efficient to implement.

Hope Indian Railways considers my suggestion as above.

7.0 Bridging Platforms:

In Indian Railways, recently they have realized the tremendous advantages of double discharge platforms on either side of the train. Such double discharge platforms are being implemented in all major railway stations and terminuses. The idea of double discharge platforms relieves the passengers with the stress of deciding which side, to be ready with the luggage, to disembark from the train. Another stress for the travelling public is to crossover to the exit of the stations, or to another platform for catching a connecting train, using over bridges or under passes. With several luggages and along with family and kids it is always stressful. Here is my idea to improve this situation:

  • Provide retractable bridges between the platforms over the railway lines at three places across the length of the platform – at both ends and in the middle.
  • The bridges can be retracted as the train arrives at (or runs through) the particular track with required safety features like interlocked signaling, bells, lamps and whistles.
  • This may not be practicable in very busy stations with frequent arrival of trains. In such stations escalators and elevators are a must.

This will greatly avoid the risk of fatalities occurring during illegal line-crossing which happens too frequently in India.

8.0 Train Toilet – 1

There are many problems with toilets in train: Cleanliness, Wetness, convenience, washing facilities, safety grips etc. In addition when the trains are halted in a station, yard or on a loop-line, use of toilets makes the station more dirty, unhealthy and unsightly. Of course there is a notice of request to the passengers not to use the toilets when the train is halted at stations. But the rule is rarely adhered to. Here is a solution at least for the last mentioned problem.

  • Toilets should be prevented from usage when the train is not moving,
  • To do this we may use an intelligent movement sensor to be interlocked with the toilet latch
  • When the train slows down to a very low speed, preparatory to halting, the movement sensor will lock the latch to prevent opening from outside. Anyone using the toilet will be able to open the latch from inside to let himself out. But as he closes the door, the latch will again get interlocked with the movement sensor.
  • As the train picks up speed, the latch will get decoupled from the interlock and get released for opening from outside.
  • The maintenance staff can be provided with a special key to open the toilet even when interlocked, for cleaning and maintenance.

9.0 Train Toilet – 2

All 2-Tier, 3–Tier and Chair-car carriages have totally 4 toilets, 2 each at the respective two ends. It may be better to convert 2 of them (one each from either end, into one male and one female urinal). Urinals are more frequently used, easier to clean and require less space, by accommodating both urinals in the space of one toilet. It will make it easier to keep the toilets clean.

However one major problem is with the solid refuse of the toilets. In most of the trains these toilets discharge waste through an opening, onto the track area itself. This corrodes the track fittings and risks the hygiene of track workers and inspectors. Here is my solution to this problem:

  • It could be better to compact the solid refuse in the under carriage of the train itself.
  • These compacted solid refuse stored in exchangeable drums can be replaced as a part of train cleaning and maintenance process at the terminal stations, or even in a designated cleaning stopovers en-route.
  • These drums of solid refuse can be used as bio-fuel and fertilizer for various applications
  • For safety of conservancy workers, we may automate the process suitably, (eg) auto-sealing of the waste drums as they remove them, integrated cleaning sprays for the toilet discharge area etc.

I Hope these ideas get considered seriously enough. They may be suitably engineered to increase the passenger convenience and safety many fold.









Innovative Ideas 2,3,4 & 5

March 7, 2018

Innovative Ideas 2,3,4 & 5

Most of us are innovative in our own way in our own fields of interest. But only a few of us have time enough to crystallize these innovative ideas into workable ideas. And still few of us have the wherewithal to develop these innovative ideas into products or into patents to be developed by others. So, it is natural I have some ideas innovative enough to present in a few blogs to follow. I won’t know whether they are good enough to deserve patents. But, even if so, I make it clear here, these ideas will remain free of any patent rights and hence any developer may use this idea or modify them in any way to evolve a product useful to the humanity. However if somebody finds it economically viable only to produce under a patent, then they can apply for a patent, but only with my express permission and agreement.

In an earlier blog, I had given an innovative idea (No.1) for having Battery (Replacement) Stations for Electric Cars, along the highways and main roads. I am giving below four more ideas for future development. Anyone interested?

2. Number Locks

Number Locks are of several different types. Some of them have a single dial with numbers to be set in a sequence. These are generally known as Combination locks. There are other locks in which 3, 4 or more individual thumbwheels, a combination on them can be set to lock and open the locks. These locks are available as separate devices which can be used with any box or luggage having a padlock. Such locks are also fitted into the box or luggage as an integral part. The required combination of numbers is initially set to all 0s and it is left to the user to choose his combination. There are two problems which affect their convenience. Coming to these issues with the lock:

  1. We set the combination to open the lock. How many of us realize the importance of remembering to change the combination randomly immediately after opening? Almost None. This results in outsiders knowing the combination with a casual look at the open lock.
  2. Once a combination is chosen, it is required to set this combination even to lock the box. Not only this is inconvenient, it also affects safety, since even locking the box is required to be done in secrecy.
  3. After closing the box, we should always remember to change the wheels to a random number to lock the box.

To make these locks safer, convenient and free from above defects, I suggest the following design changes:

  1. Locking of the box should be enabled, irrespective of any existing combination, as in a push/press latching system.
  2. When one locks the box as above, the combination should automatically change to all 0s, (to ensure the combination is not inadvertently remaining set to open)
  3. The box should be enabled to open only by setting the chosen combination of numbers.
  4. The system should automatically re-set to all 0s again as the box is opened.
  5. This means the combination should automatically re-set to all 0s after both open and close operation to ensure safety and secracy.

Hope all number lock manufacturers will use this idea, and re-design their future number locks in this way. Luggage manufacturers may specify these requirements to the suppliers of number locks for their luggage.

3. Elevators on Helical rails.

Most of the cabin elevators for movement of people are designed as a single cabin per shaft, operating on a wire rope pulled by a motor on the top. It has a counterweight to make it energy efficient. But in a single vertical shaft, only one cabin is accommodated. In public places like malls and super markets the option of escalators are chosen to handle the heavy traffic. But in multi-storied tower complexes of corporate offices and government facilities, both the options do not work well. My idea, as below is to have a helical rail for several cabins together which will be lifted to different floors by rotation of the helix. A reverse rotation of another helical rail likewise, may bring the cabins down. On the roof and basement, the cabins can be exchanged from one helix to the other by a lateral movement. The schematic shown below explains the basic principle. The cabins sliding down on thier own operate as counter weights for cabins going up. As the cabins slide down the helix by gravity, this helix rotates and acts as a supplementary force for the other helix to rotate the other way to lift the cabins. The process thus becomes energy efficient. Each elevator cabin stops on all floors. But the continuous string of elevators will make it time-efficient also. In addition we may have normal high speed elevators, only serving the higher floors, if required.  I leave it to my co-innovators to design other control, instrumentation and safety features. They may even add other features like withdrawal of a few cabins and stopping at alternate floors etc.

Helical Rails

4. Air-conditioner with a cool box:

Every room air-conditioner can come fitted, with an option of a Cool-Box for domestic use. Many households in India cannot afford costly appliances like Refrigerator and Air-conditioner. Need for Air-conditioner is sometimes felt more than a refrigerator. For most of the lower middle class households in India and other 3rd world countries, especially the vegetarians, there is hardly a need for a refrigerator as they generally cook afresh everyday and sometimes even twice a day. What they need is only a cool place, to keep their left-over food, say, for about 8-hours till they can eat it again. They also need a device to keep water, milk, fresh vegetables and drinks cool enough. A cool box as in a car will mostly serve their purpose. AC manufacturers may think of a cool-box fit-out as an option along with their AC. The AC may circulate the cool air through a small box at the eye level which can be used to store such items as above. A two or three liter box will be sufficient for this. Is any techno start-up willing to try this?

5. Gym Charger:

The public Gymnasiums have now become common in many cities, in office complexes, shopping complexes and apartment complexes. It is possible to design exercise machines in such a way that it generates electricity out of man-power instead of consuming the same. A treadmill can be designed to rotate a wheel which could charge a battery. Same thing can be achieved with any exercise bi-cycle. We may even design a gym where all the machines are connected to a common flywheel which may generate enough power to operate several devices in the complex like water-pump, garden irrigation, washing machines, dryers etc.

I have a few more ideas which i will explore in my future blogs. Techno-preneurs of younger generation may try and develop these ideas further.

L V Nagarajan / 07 March 2018Entrepreneurs





Battery Stations for Electric Cars (Innovative Idea – 1)

January 29, 2018

Battery Stations for Electric Cars

Most of us are innovative in our own way and in our own fields of interest. But only a few of us have time enough to crystallize such ideas into workable models. And still very few of us have the wherewithal to develop these innovative ideas into products or into patents to be developed by others. So, it is natural I have some ideas innovative enough to present in a few blogs to follow. I won’t know whether they are good enough to deserve patents. But, even if so, I make it clear here, these ideas will remain free of any patent rights and hence any developer may use these idea or modify them in any way to evolve a product useful to the humanity. However if somebody finds it economically viable only to produce under a patent, then they can apply for a patent, but only with my express permission and agreement. My first Innovative Idea is about Electric cars which are being developed by car manufacturers. I am sure some of these ideas could have occurred to, many of the engineers involved in this project in different companies. But here it is all in one place for them to think about.

We are in the era of electric cars. When electricity was invented by Edison and Tesla, their initial application was for electric traction. But for personal transport the petroleum is still ruling as the most convenient fuel and source of energy for more than a century. Electric traction is preferred only for public transport on fixed routes and for minor applications like golf carts etc. The reasons are obvious:

  • The electrical energy can be stored and transported only in the form of batteries.
  • Larger the amount of energy, larger is the size and weight of the batteries, and hence, the problem of transporting the battery itself.
  • The range of travel possible by a single unit of battery is limited as of now, to a maximum of about two hundred miles.
  • The charging of these batteries to full capacity always takes a minimum of about an hour, and many times even more.
  • As the battery gets used up with many discharges and charges, its capacity to store energy gets reduced, thereby reducing the range of travel gradually.
  • As the battery gets older it takes even longer to get fully charged, if at all.
  • Older batteries will finally need to be replaced.

As of now, all the electric car manufacturers spend their efforts in finding ways of:

a) reducing the battery size and weight,

b) increasing its capacity, and

c) decreasing its charging time.

These efforts delay introduction of newer models of electric cars and also makes the cars more expensive. Instead we should introduce more numbers of initial models of these cars and incentivize buyers to go in for such cars in large numbers. The benefits to users, the society and the world in general are fairly obvious. But then how do we solve the problems of electric cars as cited earlier.

We can bring electric cars to greater use only with the following facilities:

  1. Batteries for cars should be treated as a source of energy very much like gas or petrol. Hence like gas stations or petrol bunks, we should provide Battery Stations on roads and highways where we can change the discharged battery, with another fully charged battery for a price. The price may be fixed based on the energy stored and battery brand of both the new and exchanged batteries. We have to design battery tariffs accordingly
  2. The design of the battery compartment in the cars must be in such a way that used batteries can be easily jettisoned in a road-side Battery Station and the fully charged battery can be picked up and docked automatically, (very much like in a gas station or petrol bunk).
  3. Cars may be provided with a reserve battery of smaller size and limited range of a few miles. This will also be a part of safety feature, to cater for main battery failure. Alternately cars may even be provided with duplicate batteries, of suitable capacity and size.
  4. The first ever battery for the new car may be provided against a deposit, just like gas cylinders for domestics fuel.

Even in the near future if manufacturers come out with Electric cars with bigger and better batteries with ranges of 400 miles or more, the problems of aging and charging of the battery will still continue. Hence it may eventually be better for general public, to go with the now-available technology in a big way, with the help of the wayside Battery Stations suggested as above. In places like India, the auto-rikshas may be electrified straightaway thereby reducing the pollution levels to a great extent.

Please check my future blogs for more such innovative ideas.