It is an often-abused concept, but its significance has never been more relevant than now. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is used by us in our conversations and it is mostly not relating to the intrinsic meaning of this phrase or saying.  Necessity is the mother of invention means when put in a difficult situation, one is likely to be inspired to create a novel or ingenious solution. Plato is often credited with this phrase.

Now, what is the necessity of bringing this into our discussion. For the past few months, India has come to understand the real meaning of this phrase, whose origin has popularly been credited to Plato.

Having been put in a clueless and hopeless situation by the Covid-19, India has come to inspire itself to offer ingenious solutions. The world has seen countless ingenious solutions and innovations but the rate of acceptance or readiness to accept has never been so welcome at every level. Society at large and the authorities, especially, are lukewarm to change and do not notice or encourage incremental value being added to our day today life.

But today, we eagerly await news about drugs to combat coronavirus or vaccines being developed even though we know the long process involved in these tasks. The change in the attitude of people to new solutions and innovations should be sustained so that we are offered better standard of life at minimum cost. Look at the examples that are around us today and learn to encourage value addition by all.

We list some new things that India has produced and in typical cost-effective Indian method. Many IITs have developed a variety of PPEs and other technologies for fighting covid-19. From ventilators to mask, whole body suits to patient tracing apps, micro-fibres and methods of bio-medical segregation have been developed by the premier the institutions. This is true for both public and private institutions.

Bangalore based CMR Institute of Technology (CMRIT) students took up very early in the pandemic the task of making low cost and fast produced face shields for Covid Warriors. It was well received and distributed to doctors and the police personnel.

At a different level, a Covid-19 test kit developed by the IIT Delhi has been launched at a base price of Rs 399. The ‘Corosure’  will be used by other IITs for mass screening of students and staff before resuming classroom teaching.  The country’s premier engineering institutions will also use self-made personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and technological solutions to deal with the covid-19 crisis in cost-effective, innovative and self-reliant manner.

A portable hospital unit is called ‘MediCAB’ is developed by IIT-Madras backed startup Modulus Housing. It is easy to transport, cost-effective and aimed decentralising the approach to fight COVID-19.

The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar have developed a compact and affordable ventilation support for the less critical COVID-19 patients. The design of the a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine is such that it is easy to operate and can be assembled with ease in remote areas, villages or at home. The machine is made of readily available electronic and mechanical parts and a single unit can support multiple patients.

These kinds of innovations triggered by the necessity of Indians should be part of our culture so that we keep benefiting from solutions made by us and for us.