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A ‘technopreneur' in the making



Praveen Kumar

In a State obsessed with IIT dream, many engineering aspirants wish to join one of the 15 famed institutions. But Praveen Kumar Gorakavi paints a different picture. A Bal Shree awardee, Mr. Praveen Kumar is a fresh graduate of Chemical Engineering from Osmania University. Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) awarded a special recognition to him during its 93rd annual meeting under the category of Outstanding Scientist or Engineer, last Saturday.

At the age of 13 years itself, Mr. Praveen Kumar designed a calendar for 20,000 years (from 10,000 BC to 10,000 AD). He recognised some 27 mathematical equations on which an ideal calendar should be based on. Later he extended this calendar to 40,000 years and rendered it into Braille script. This calendar is currently an exhibit in Singapore Science Centre.

In 2003, at an age of 15 years, he made an artificial leg with an ability for knee and ankle movement. Mr. Praveen Kumar claims that a person using this leg, which weighs just 1.5 kg, can run at 20 kilometers per hour. The product was handed over to Andhra Pradesh Vikalangula Co-operative Corporation (APVCC), a state government organisation, to be used for the benefit of physically challenged people.

In 2004, he dabbled with missile technology. Ever heard that we can use common wax as a rocket propellant? Mr. Praveen Kumar successfully demonstrated this at Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO Hyderabad and convinced scientists like Dr. VK Saraswat, present DRDO Chief.

While doing his engineering he developed a food preservative VASCAMODE which can preserve food for three years. He also developed a water purifying process which he hopes to use for the benefit millions of Indians.

With 16 of his innovations waiting to get patents, and about 100 awards from various organisations, his achievements are quite impressive.

His latest innovation in the field of manufacturing Bio-fuels has won him recognition at American institute of Chemical Technology, Chicago USA. He also won support under the central government's Technopreneur Promotion Program (TePP) to start his own Bio-fuel venture.

At a time when innovation and excellence in engineering is associated with top notch institutions like IITs and NITs, Mr. Praveen Kumar stands out as an example that talent is not a preserve of elite institutions alone. There is a vast untapped potential in this country which if nurtured properly can propel the scientific and engineering innovation in our country.

NEMMANI SREEDHAR

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