Monday, 2 March 2015

Innovation In Industry - Why We Need To Redefine Our Education Sector To Promote Innovation?



Ashwini Sharma
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
 ITM University, Gurgaon

Innovation is one of the most common yet most important words in today’s global scenario with the industries to sustain in the market and move on to the ladder of success. It is a fact that the industry which does not focus on innovation will sooner or later perish. One of the finest examples of innovation is TATA NANO. This car is supposedly the lowest priced car in the world, yet there are innovations at every stage from design to manufacturing of it. Another example in line is about the solar panels on the roof top of buildings. These solar panels initially occupied the space on ground resulting in underutilisation of the ground area. Finally it had happened in Gujarat where the solar panels were mounted on the canals to cater for generating electricity from sun and simultaneously preventing the evaporation of the precious water flowing in the canal. Like as above we can find thousands of the innovative products and services and even thinking. Not sure about it? Consider these products and services from different industries: iPhone, Cloud computing, D2H service, home security system, space saving furniture, folding bicycle, LED displays, blind man walking stick, coconut tree climber, bicycle washing machine. Innovation!!!!

‘Innovate’ is a Latin word which means to change or renew. Innovation is a thinking of doing the things in unconventional way and happens when the unquestionable is questioned. It has different meaning for different industries such as for manufacturing industry, innovation can happen when the need is to improve upon the product, processes, systems, working environment, material handling or to reduce the cost of production; for a service industry it can be the improvement in quality of service such as computerised railway booking system or banking system which has made people comfortable doing the reservation and banking operation without being physically present and standing in long queues. The mobile phones initially did not have camera. It was an innovation when the idea to incorporate camera with the mobile phone came. Today it can be seen that virtually every mobile is coming with the camera starting at a price merely Rs. 2500. But after a while these innovations, when liked by the customer, become the need and gets generalised which means they become regular feature and people want it associated with the product by default. Then what next? Answer is obviously further innovation, such as maps with GPS etc. From the above discussion one thing can be concluded that innovation is a never ending process and it can be done anywhere and anytime and to anything; the only requirement is getting the idea to improve.

Indian education system needs to be redefined for nurturing the talent such that the students thinking should not be merely to get better marks, rather it should be driven by creativity and inner desire to become what they dream of. The author who is an engineering teacher would like to share that most of the students opting for engineering do not even know what exactly it is and are studying engineering because somebody from family or relative told them to do so. Interestingly when the country is looking for the bright engineers who will be responsible for taking the nation forward, they are struggling to find out why they are doing it. It is the need of the hour that talent and creativity should be nurtured right from the beginning i.e. from the school level.

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