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The importance of human resource in a nation’s development and progress

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By Dr Kallol Guha

A country’s human resource (a set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector or economy) is shaped and conditioned through its education system. How a given nation will fair can be predicted by evaluating the state of its primary, secondary and higher education with special reference to its research orientation of the education system.

Hitler’s armament minister Albert Speer wrote in his memoir “Inside the Third Reich” that he once visited German occupied territory in Ukraine during the last war. There he inspected a university complex under construction. He mentioned- the facilities he saw, far exceeded anything available in Germany. So, by seeing the structure of the University, he remarked- he had no doubt that Russia was determined to become a world power.

If India has to become an important geopolitical player in the region and an economy to reckon with, it has to take up major educational reforms in the country. There isn’t any doubt that the education system in India, at all levels, is down in the dumps. The situation can be assessed by the fact that not even one Indian university features in the QS World University top 200 list.

Moreover, the importance of education in shaping the human resource is not just restricted to economic development. Defence and international relations too are dependent on the nation’s human resources.

There are lots of opinions on matters related to India’s defence. How neighboring countries are to be treated is a subject being debated passionately, and in some channel it is a shouting match with the bellowing anchor. A basic principle of a country’s defense is not ammunitions, but quality, conviction, and training of the human resource that determines the defense capability of a given nation. Contemporary history bears numerous testimonies to this basic principle. A case in point is the Vietnam War, Korean War, Bay of Pigs in Cuba and Israel’s role in Middle East.

In India, there are lots of discussions on procurement of arms from merchants of Death. But not a word on how to condition and shape the human resource to defend the country at the right time! In case of a war with a formidable opponent (not Pakistan), only a fool should believe that such a war can be won by arms supplied by a third country and leadership of Anglophonic Politicians whose primary objective is to transfer wealth to Anglophonic West.

Has anyone ever heard any Indian politician or any Indian political party emphasize the significance of building and conditioning human resource to strengthen nation’s all out development with special reference to Defense?

It’s time India did some major rethinking.

(The writer is the President & CEO of Saint James School of Medicine headquartered in Illinois.)

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)

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