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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Primer on 5G Technology for India from nitindesai research group

 There are many reports on 5G, most talk on need for Government to adopt the new technology to reap various benefits. There are few reports on technology, standards and SEP. This one from is a a primer on 5G technology in non-technical terms, overview of extended 5G applications for various sectors, the regulatory landscape for 5G in India, and finally outline various important strategic, policy, regulatory, technical and behavioral considerations.

5G is going to revolutionize not just the mobile telecommunications sector but also how we use technology in our businesses and lives. The implications are far reaching.


It is a comprehensive report. Download from:

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Story of how South Africa developed Coal to Liquid Fuel (CTL) technology in 1950

Coal liquefaction is a process of converting coal into liquid hydrocarbons: liquid fuels and petrochemicals. This process is often known as "Coal to X", where X can be many different hydrocarbon-based products. However, the most common process chain is "Coal to Liquid Fuels" (CTL). Coal liquefaction was an important part of Adolf Hitler's four-year plan of 1936, and became an integral part of German industry during World War IIThe best-known CTL process is Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FT), named after the inventors Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in the 1920s. In 1914, Friedrich Bergius, a teacher at the Technische Hochschule in Hanover, built a 40-litre vessel into which he put coal that had been dissolved in recycled oil, then added hydrogen. His catalyst was iron oxide. With the vessel loaded with these three ingredients, he raised its internal temperature to well above 400°C and increased the internal pressure up to 700 atmospheres (where one atmosphere is equal to air pressure at sea level). The result was petrol, diesel and recycle oil – and, in 1931, a share of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Carl Bosch, who had worked on developing high-pressure vessels for the Bergius and other synthesis processes. Fischer and Tropsch were granted a patent on their process in 1925.

Dr PN Lategan, working for the Transvaal Coal Owners’ Association in Johannesburg in the early 1920s wrote his doctoral thesis for the Imperial College of Science in London on The Low-Temperature Carbonisation of South African Coal. In the course of his research he visited Germany and, on his return home, tried to get some of the methods he had observed there to work. The next close investigation of the idea came from Dr F Meyer, working as technical adviser to the Department of Commerce and Industries. He wrote a White Paper for government in 1927, describing various oil-from-coal processes being used overseas and their potential for South Africa. Then in the 1930s, unreported by the press, a young student named Etienne Rousseau obtained his MSc degree from the oldest and most prestigious of the Afrikaans universities, Stellenbosch. Rousseau would become Sasol’s first managing director. In retrospect, that could seem almost inevitable, for the subject of his master’s thesis was The sulphur content of coals and oil shales, a highly relevant matter for anyone wanting to produce synthetic oil.

Read Sasol story `Mind over matter'.

Student Idea competition-India

 Ministry of Education (MoE), Govt. of India has established ‘MoE’s Innovation Cell (MIC)’ to systematically foster the culture of Innovation amongst all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The primary mandate of MIC is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by supporting them to work with new ideas and transform them into prototypes while they are informative years. Outcome of Smart India Hackathon 2019:

34 Themes

806 ideas

565 for government agencies

241 for Industry.

Check the Idea description and team details:

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Verified agricultural carbon credits.

Carbon farming practice is now a reality. indigo is one the service providers:

Indigi AG announced first corporate carbon credit buyers. Each credit is priced at $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestered in the 2020 growing season. To generate credits, Indigo is implementing what it describes as two novel methods for measuring and verifying the net on-farm GHG emissions impact of management practice changes.

US Department of Agriculture runs COMET-Farm tool which estimates the ‘carbon footprint’ for all or part of your farm/ranch operation and allows you to evaluate different options, which you select, for reducing GHG emissions and sequestering more carbon. General guidance is provided about potential changes to your management practices that are likely to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

In India, Saguna Rural Foundation,  provides technical support to farmers, collect soil samples, and distribute the carbon checks at year’s end based on increases in soil carbon. The verification and validation of the soil increases would be conducted independently by Zenith Energy Climate Foundation, Hyderabad. The team launched one project in 2019 in Maharashtra.

Niti Aayog estimated carbon credit market as 50-60 billion 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Non-Personal Data (NPD) Governance Framework

The Committee of Experts on Non-Personal Data (NPD) Governance Framework, constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released its Report on July 12, 2020. The Report purports to be a framework for governance of NPD, meant to grant access to NPD to industry players and the government for overarching public purposes. In order to increase the competitiveness of local and small enterprises and spur innovation, the Report is aimed at mandatory sharing of data to create economic advantages that are currently precluded due to data monopolies of a few dominant players. 

The Committee has defined three categories of Non-Personal Data – 1) Public Non-Personal Data 2) Community Non-Personal Data & 3) Private Non-Personal Data.  The Committee has also defined a new concept of ‘sensitivity of Non-Personal Data’, as even Non-Personal Data could be sensitive from the following perspectives – 1) It relates to national security or strategic interests; 2) It is business sensitive or confidential information; 3) It is anonymised data, that bears a risk of re-identification  The Committee recommends that the data principal should also provide consent for anonymisation and usage of this anonymized data while providing consent for collection and usage of his/her personal data.

Download report: 

Auctions theory and patent auctions

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 to Paul R. Milgrom Stanford University, USA and Robert B. Wilson Stanford University, USA. Laureates have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. 

Can auction format be used for patents?

Yong-Gil Lee, Inha University addressed Patent auctions in his paper `Different characteristics between auctioned and non-auctioned patents'

Any researcher studied auction theory for Intellectual Property?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

German firm VERBIO Ag solves Delhi's smog problem with patented research and EU funded pilot plant in Germany.


Every winter, not just Delhi but also large parts of north India are frequently enveloped in a thick blanket of smog, caused by air pollution from vehicular and industrial emissions mixing with fog. The burning of post-harvest paddy stubble in the agricultural fields of Haryana and Punjab is often cited as a major cause of this unhealthy smog. In 2013, under the Air Act, 1981, the Punjab government banned the burning of crop residue in the fields. Later, in 2015, the National Green Tribunal prohibited the burning of paddy straw while directing the government to help farmers manage the paddy straw using specialised equipment like Happy Seeder that chops paddy straw, sows wheat seeds and layers the straw as a mulch. Other machines like Rotavator, that bundle the straw into bales to be transported, were also to be procured and used.


VERBIO Vereinigte Bioenergie AG is a bio-energy company established in 2001 started with bioethanol in 2005. Applied for patent `Method and plant for producing biogas from lignocellulose-containing biomass' in 2012 (EP2935595A2), published in 2015 and granted in 2020. Main claim- 1. A process for the production of biogas from lignocellulosic biomass, preferably from straw, which comprises the following steps:  a) mixing the lignocellulosic biomass with a  average particle size less than 200mm, preferably less than 20mm, with aqueous solutions at a temperature of 60-100 ° C, in particular from 70-85 ° C, in particular with process water and / or with the aid of steam;  b) heating the lignocellulosic biomass to 130-200 ° C,  preferably 150-180 ° C, and lingering so heated  lignocellulose-containing biomass for a period of 5-120min, preferably 10-30min, expediently in a continuously flow-through reactor space for thermal digestion  c) anaerobic fermentation of the thermally treated lignocellulosic biomass using microorganisms and recovery of the resulting biogas.

Within the framework of the EU funding programme NER300 the European Union supports the further development of VERBIO’s innovative technology to produce biomethane from 100% straw at it’s production site in Schwedt/Oder with up to EUR 22.3 million during 2014 – 2019. The funding amount is based on a fixed rate for biomethane fed into the gas grid.

The Union government is setting up the first compressed biogas (CBG) plant in north India in Lehragaga of Sangrur and it is expected to be commissioned in March next year. The CBG plant, being set up under the ‘Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (Satat), will convert straw into CNG. According to sources, the plant authorities have started collecting paddy straw to store it at the plant, as 300 tonne stubble will be used per day in the plant to produce 31 tonne CBG per day. The plant is being set up by Verbio India Pvt Ltd.

Primer on atmospheric water harvesting technologies

Indian Prime Minister Modi was reported enquiring whether a turbine could be used to harvest water from moisture in the air and oxygen too, thus serving as a three-in-one machine. Three components of the system , Wind mills, Atmospheric water generator, Water splitting to produce Oxygen, Hydrogen are well known.

Here we look at review paper on atmospheric water harvesting technologies.

The scope of this paper is to review different types of sustainable water harvesting methods from the atmospheric fogs and dew. In this paper, we report upon the water collection performance of various fog collectors around the world. We also review technical aspects of fog collector feasibility studies and the efficiency improvements. Modern fog harvesting innovations are often bioinspired technology. Fog harvesting technology is obviously limited by global fog occurrence. In contrast, dew water harvester is available everywhere but requires a cooled condensing surface. In this review, the dew water collection systems is divided into three categories: i) dew water harvesting using radiative cooling surface, ii) solar-regenerated desiccant system and iii) active condensation technology. The key target in all these approaches is the development of an atmospheric water collector that can produce water regardless of the humidity level, geographical location, low in cost and can be made using local materials.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Premature Deindustrialization, India and South Africa

 Dani Rodrik introduced the concept of Premature deindustrailisation. (

The term deindustrialization is used today to refer to the experience mainly of these advanced economies.In the United States manufacturing industries’ share of total employment has steadily fallen since the 1950s, coming down from around a quarter of the workforce to less than a tenth today.In Great Britain, at the other end of the spectrum, deindustrialization has been both more rapid and thorough. Manufacturing’s share of employment has fallen from a third in the 1970s to slightly above 10 % today, while real MVA (at 2005 prices) has declined from around a quarter of GDP to less than 15 %. Developing countries are turning into service economies without having gone through a proper experience of industrialization and this is called  “premature deindustrialization". Developed countries face unemployment deindustrialization without output deindustrialization.As developing countries opened up to trade, their manufacturing sectors were hit . Those without a strong comparative advantage in manufacturing became net importers of manufacturing, reversing a long process of import‐substitution.

Premature Deindustrialisation in India was studied by Sudip Chaudhuri. (Sudip Chaudhuri. Premature Deindustrialization in India and Re thinking the Role of Government. FMSH-WP-2015-91. 2015.)  In India , the share of manufacturing in GDP has stagnated around 15-16% since 1991. The share of manufacturing in GDP is 31% in Korea and 30% in China. Even Germany with much higher wage costs has a share of 21%. If domestic manufacturers are unable to withstand international competition and if domestic users start relying on imports, then what follows is not better utilization of existing capacities and greater efficiency but under utilization of existing capacities, decrease in production and rise in unemployment. Decay of existing industries which are unable to survive without protection does not automatically lead to the creation of new capacities in new industries.

Is sub-Saharan Africa deindustrializing is paper by Emmanuel B. Mensah (UNU MERIT working paper #2020-045. Important finding- East Africa is industrializing, whereas Southern Africa is the only region that seems to be deindustrializing.imports from both the North and South have negative effect on relative manufacturing employment suggesting that the competition effect is stronger than the spillover effect in the context of Africa. African countries can offset the negative effect through competition policies such as subsidies and local content laws that have minimum requirements for the procurement of locals and services, local employment opportunities, technology, and skill transfer, etc. Finally, as the results of the drivers show, promoting manufacturing exports is important for the industrial development of the continent.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of Covid-1 9

 This consensus document is developed by expert committees from All India Institute of Ayurveda (AMA), Delhi, Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurved (IPGTRA), Jamnagar, and National Institute of Ayurveda (NlA), Jaipur Central Council for Research in Ayurveda (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), other national research organizations. This protocol is for management of mild COVID-19. Moderate to Severe COVID-19 individuals may have informed choice of treatment options. All severe cases will be referred. General and Physical measures 

1. Follow physical distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene, wear mask 

2. Gargle with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Water boiled with Triphala (dried fruits of Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Terminal/a bellerica) or Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) also can be used for gargling. 

3. Nasal instillation/application of medicated oil (Anu taila or Shadbindu Taila) or plain oil (Sesame or Coconut) or nasal application of cow's ghee (Goghrita) once or twice in a day, especially before going out and after coming back to home. 

4. Steam inhalation with Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) or Pudina (Mentha spicata) or Eucalyptus oil once a day 

5. Adequate sleep of 6 to 8 hrs. 

6. Moderate physical exercises 

7. Follow Yoga Protocol for Primary Prevention of COVlD-19 (ANNEXURE-1) and Protocol for Post COVlD-19 care (including care for COVlD-19 patients) (ANN EXURE-2) - as applicable 

Download report: