21st May 2019, Roorkee: Design Innovation Center (DIC), IIT Roorkee organized a Himalayan Summit on the Design Innovation Challenges in the Himalayan Region on 21st of May 2019. Various NGOs, scientists, academicians working in the Himalayan region shared their work during the summit. They highlighted various challenges being faced by them. This summit provided opportunities to different DICs to select their problems and identify potentialfield collaborators.

Design Innovation Center at IIT Roorkee, under the ‘National Initiative for Design Innovation’ scheme was set up in multi-dimensional space with the long sighted vision, primarily to address the problems of the Himalayan Region. DIC IIT Roorkee extends to fuel its research mandate through Innovation in various sectors aiming at resolving human issues.

The focus of this summit was the Himalayan region which makes most of the northern part of our country and offers a vast potential for various activities. Human greed is resulting in uncontrolled exploitation of different natural resources, which is one of the reasons for various climate change issues. Furthermore, limited availability of employment is leading youth to migrate to metro cities. Thus, the activities in this green region also has many inherent challenges.

Several issues related to the challenges in the Himalayan Region such as sustainable development, cottage industry, agriculture, livelihood, clean water, transportation, medical facilities, education and technological development were broadly discussed in the summit. The summit was attended by a large number of students of various institutes apart from various organisations working for the development of the Himalayan region.Padmashri Dr. Anil P Joshi, Founder HESCO, Uttarakhand andProf. Pradyumna Vyas, Former Member Secretary, India Design Council and former Director of National Institute of design, Ahmedabad, while addressing the gathering, mentioned various opportunities in the region and indicated the need for developing sustainable measures to face the challenges. Prof Vyas emphasized on formulating design and development policy for the mountain states in the country.He said that we need a circular eco system to strike balance between “ People” “Planet” and “Profit” and it’s time to go for the concept of the smart villages. On the other hand Padmashri Dr. Anil P Joshi, said that Himalaya does not need us we need Himalaya and IIT Roorkee can play the most influential role in solving Himalayan problems. Prof. Parida emphasised on development of sustainable transportation systems for Himalayan regions by DIC and other concerns.They emphasized that DICs can play a larger role in the process.

Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, who was the chief guest of the inaugural session, said “The Himalayan region holds a lot of significance for us, not just culturally, but we believe it is our duty to come up with solutions to the various challenges that people living in this region face. This summit has been conceived in order to take this endeavour forward through our Design Innovation Centre.”

It is expected that this summit will usher a new dimension in working of DICs where DICs and their spokes can think of various challenges of the Himalayan region where design approach may provide cost effective and sustainable solutions. Prof. Apurbba Kumar Sharma, Coordinator, DIC, IIT Roorkee, informed that DIC has already taken up a number of projects related to the Himalayan region and a few products have been developed to provide solutions to some local problems. Some of these products are - Crop Harvester for Terrains, Development of Green Furniture Based on Forest Waste Materials, Low cost mechanical wheelchair, hydro-dissection device. DIC is also working on development of a High Yield Loom Design for Uttarakhand Local Weavers.