The first official standard for a grassroots innovation has been set up for clay cooling cabinet Mitticool developed by Shri Mansukh Bhai Prajapati, from Wankaner, in Gujarat. The standard set up by the Bureau of India Standards is necessary after a particular stage for scaling up and entering the cross-border markets.
National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, put forward this idea at the Innovations Scholars In-residence Programme held at Rashtrapati Bhawan. BIS took cognizance of this innovative technology and subsequently engaged with NIF to develop a new Indian Standard -- IS 17693: 2022 ‘Non-electric cooling cabinet made of clay’.
The IS 17693: 2022 Non-electric Cooling Cabinet Made of Clay is the first standard rooted in a grassroots innovation - ‘Mitticool Refrigerator’. The standard specifies the construction and performance requirements of a cooling cabinet of the natural refrigerator made out of clay which operates on the principle of evaporative cooling. These cabinets may be used to store perishable foodstuff without the need of electricity. It provides a natural coldness to foodstuffs so that they remain fresh without deteriorating their quality.
The standard helps in the endeavour of BIS to fulfil 6 of out 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 5 (Gender equality), 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure), and 12 (Responsible consumption and production).
The standard can help grassroots innovations march hand-in-hand with innovations in the formal sector. Some benefits that are expected to accrue to the innovation are – facilitation of trade and commerce, improvement of processes and making them more efficient, guidance in consistent functioning and quality, simplifying comparison of products and services, promoting further technological developments and so on.
The impact of the ‘Mitticool Refrigerator’has already been exponential, and it is poised to grow by attaining this significant milestone of setting standards. It is already playing a lead role in reviving the pottery culture, tradition, and heritage; connecting people back to roots in better, healthier ways; promoting sustainable consumption; economically empowering the indigent community; working towards green and cool earth, economic development and employment generation; and contributing towards rural women upliftment and making them financially independent. These achievements will receive a boost with the new standard.