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Modi woos German firms to invest, Make in India

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Bengaluru:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday exhorted German industry to invest and make in India for a growing domestic market and huge export markets the world over.

“We want your involvement in translating our dreams into reality. Our commitment to achieve the goal in an effective manner offers huge opportunities to German firms,” Modi said at a tech event in the presence of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Flagging the opportunities, ranging from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities, the prime minister said German investors and companies could also explore modernisation of the vast state-run railway network and stations to setting up of new railway corridors.

“Generation of 175 gw (giga watt) of renewable energy to construction of transmission and distribution networks, national highways, bridges, and metro rails are among the investment opportunities beckoning the robust German industry,” Modi said.

Asserting that such a huge potential for creation and production would not be available in any one country, Modi claimed no one place on earth could offer the potential for consumption on such a massive scale.

“We are trying to power this potential through our campaigns like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. To tap the energy fully, we have launched the ‘Start-up India’ campaign,” Modi told about 500 invitees, including a German business delegation, which came with Merkel on a three-day official visit to the country since Sunday night.

Observing that India was on the threshold of a big IT revolution, Modi said the country was at the tipping point where technology would be leveraged to meet the aspirations of 1.25 billion citizens and provide additional avenues for investment in modern technology and human resources.

“Ours is a young country and will remain so for many years. There is a huge domestic market. Unlike a decade ago, talented young minds are no longer looking for high paying jobs. Instead, they have begun taking risks and preferring to become entrepreneurs. We have witnessed exponential growth in start-ups in the recent past and some of them have begun to challenge established global players,” Modi said.

Recalling his visit to Hannover in Germany in April, the prime minister said his government was open to ideas, innovations and enterprises because never before was India so well prepared to absorb talent, technology and investment from outside.

“While in Bengaluru, I must add that it is the software of India that will move the hardware across the world; it is the talent of India that will master the technology; it is the market of India that will motivate manufacturing. Therefore, it makes strong business sense to be in India. It makes even better business sense to Make in India,” Modi added.

In her address to the gathering in German (Deutsche), Merkel offered technology and skills to make India a global manufacturing hub for domestic and export markets.

Hosted by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and the German Fraunhofer Institute at a star hotel on ‘Digitising Tomorrow Together’, the luncheon session witnessed four agreements signed in the presence of the two heads of state in urban mobility solutions, solar energy, skill development and machine designing between Indian and German firms.

(IANS)

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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)