India also in forefront of innovative technology
Necessity is the mother of invention. The requirements, the living conditions of man and his environment have led to many inventions and discoveries. Actually, invention is the natural outcome of creative thinking. Since mankind has braved the heat ever since he became master of earth. Over the years, inventions have been directed towards providing respite to man from the oppressive heat. The problem was compounded by the large-scale use of fossil fuel.
The concept of fossil fuel was first introduced by Andreas Libavius in 1597 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1763. The first use of the term “fossil fuel” occurs in the 1759 work of the German chemist Caspar Neumann. The warming of earth has been going on over the centuries. India has taken the bulls by horns and embarked on an ambitious renewable energy target of 450 Gigawatts(power or radiant flux in International System of Units) by 2030. It is a commendable commitment.
The situation in India is very alarming for the people living in extreme hot conditions. The 19 cities viz., Sri Ganganagar, Jhansi, Agra, Delhi, Phalodi, Churu, Daltonganj, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Rentachintala, Vijayawada, Titlagarh, Wardha, Sambalpur, Machilipatnam, Kurnool, Banda, Ramagundam, Chandrapurthat have been identified as the hottest where summer temperature hovers above 45. It is handy for meteorologists to tell mediithe story of high temperature of Sri Ganganagar or Churu while Phalodi (a township of Jodhpur, salt city of India) recorded temperature of 51degrees Celsius a few years back.
With mercury soaring to set new highs, come the usual health hazards of heat strokes, sunburns and dehydration. Prickly heat (heat rash), skin irritation, sea bather’s eruption, acne breakouts, conjunctivitis, flu, food poisoning, hyperthermia, measles, folliculitis, melasma, measles, small pox, food poisoning and hyperthermia are the common ailments during extreme summers.
The Indian pledge to reduce carbon footprint to 2005 levels by 2030 at 2015 Paris Climate Summit vociferously echoed by PM Narendra Modi under the aegis of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the team of a motivated entrepreneur lady Mala Roy and a high-profile researcher Prof. Anand Khanna from iconic professor, IIT, Bombay team developed a simple cost-effective coating system which applied on roof top can bring down temperature by 10 to 20C by reflecting back the solar IR radiation. The system has been marketed by Mala Roy and well received in the cross sections of the society.
The successful coating system under brand Thermacool was launched with fanfare. It was found effective for concrete and metallic roof tops. The cost effective and insulation providing coat soon found its place in various Government, public sector, industrial sheds, container, housing complex and host of other establishments in the country. As an indigenous product, it was the sole patented coating system approved by ASTM standards and got the BIS conformity in 2019. In a broader perspective, the paint coat helps in reducing power consumption between 30 to 40 per cent and Thermacool is going to play a role in Climate change.
However, the commercial instinct of man has vulture and wolf-like tendencies to predate on others’ food. The successful launch of Thermacool in the Indian market got the glare of media at home and abroad. The business establishments and the research laboratories in the universities in India and foreign countries took a leaf out of Thermacool’s successful market launch. It was not long that they are in market with the connivance of the concerned officials.
In a cut-throat highly competitive global market, the Thermacool made-in-India solar heat relief paint venture may run into rough weather, unless the Govt of India intervenes and ensures that this innovative Indian IIT Mumbai intellectual property is not stolen by the developed economies as it happened when abortive attempt was made for turmeric patent by the Americans.
There are concerted efforts on the way in foreign countries to evolve and market a Thermacool like product. It seems they are not aware of the scientific potential of India of 22nd Century.
The country has been in the forefront of scientific research and advancement of its technology for the welfare of the masses of India. The Atomic Energy establishment, the green revolution to feed every hungry belly, the establishment of National Laboratories and production of indigenous vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are some of India’s innovative efforts for the benefit of the larger population. The Atomic Energy Establishment in 1954, a country for seabed mining right–only six governments have space agencies (China, India, Japan, NASA and Russia) –make the country a leading nation in the area of science & technology. It will be unethical on the part of foreign heat warding paint making agencies to dump time-tested Thermacool. It has withstood the challenges of soaring heat of the Indian conditions. Let swadeshi flourish in swadesh!
Alfred Whitehead, English philosopher made a significant comment, “The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention.” Thermacool has proved the prophecy of Whitehead.