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AN WEATHER Sunrise .....................05:58 Sunset ......................19:06 Moonrise .................11:10 Moonset ..................00:00 Temperature Min ...........................24 0c Max ...........................37 0c


Vol. 1 No. 33 Pages 16 PUNE, SUNDAY MAY 27, 2012 Rs.4 .4




A learning centre that helps the less-fortunate >> P4

A guide on how to be safe while learning to drive >> P7

Feast on these sumptuous Gujarati delicacies >>P15 Pics: Rahul Deshmukh

Posing with the hovercraft that he made

The effective drip irrigation technique at the Kudje farm is fuelled by cost-effective solar pumps devised by Col. Mundkur

One of Col. Mundkur’s earliest paragliding experiences

Make your own energy T SUCHISMITA PAI

Vivek Mundkur’s Do-It-Yourself irrigation solutions have brought relief to numerous farmers in Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka

urn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you” goes a famous quote. Vivek Mundkur has chased away many shadows thanks to the sun—the shadows of interrupted and inadequate power supply and the shadows of dependence on an inefficient agency for power needs. Ten months ago, frustrated by the on-again and off-again undependable power supply to irrigate his farm at Kudje from the regular channels, he decided to experiment with solar power. Setting up a drip irrigation system with a pump that connects directly to solar panels, he managed

to eliminate completely, the conventional supplier, MSEDCL. This is not the first time that Mundkur, a retd. army officer has used his rather impressive DIY (DO-ITYOURSELF) skills to get around a problem in an innovative and eco-friendly way.

When it all began His love for DIY began almost on a whim, when after reading a piece on Hang-gliders in the Popular Mechanics magazine, he requisitioned the materials through a cousin in the USA and built one for himself in 1976. Posted in Pune as a captain in the army at that time, he trained himself to fly the glider beginning with small flights at 15-20 feet, until the sky become the final

A well-thought innovation

z The USP of Mundkur’s irrigation system is that all it needs is a pump and solar panels. There are no batteries or inverters involved. A 0.5 HP pump can irrigate a one acre plot and thanks to the magic of drip irrigation, uses less water and consequently enables the farmer to get three crops a year from the very same land.

frontier for him. “The Army encouraged me and I even went to the UK to pursue an instructor’s course. Hanggliding was an absolutely new idea at that time,” he says. His name appears in the Limca Book of Records as the first ever person to have flown a hang glider in India. His next big project was to build an air-propelled boat for shallow water use which he then converted to a

hovercraft, which was much lauded as a vehicle for military use in difficult to negotiate water bodies in India. “I gave it all up when I found that powers that be, these days, are not interested in such innovations,” he says. During this period in 2006, his right hand got jammed in the hovercraft propeller and after surgery and physiotherapy was eventually declared medically non- functional. “I still manage

to do some things with it, like drive”, laughs the man, talking about an accident that would have signified the end of DIY for someone less strong willed.

Leaps of success Living on a farm in Kudje village, he discovered many challenges to stimulate his DIY spirit. Faced with an unreliable and often non-existent power supply, he explored renewable energy sources and built a windmill to power the farmhouse. >> Continued on Page 5

EXTRAA You can contact Vivek Mundkur at

How just 30 min can take India forward Researchers have proposed that if India permanently advances IST by 30 minutes, we could save power worth more than Rs 1,500 crore ABHAY VAIDYA


aving energy, especially in an acutely power deficit country like ours takes an effort. However, as much as 2.3 billion units of power worth more than Rs. 1,500 crore can be saved by the country annually by doing just about nothing. While the United States and many other countries have adopted the “Daylight Saving Time” (DST) mechanism and separate time zones to maximize utilisation of daylight and reduce power consumption, the thinking in India has moved beyond DST. Rather than confuse people with DST which requires clocks to be adjusted twice a year,

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or introduce separate time zones, at least two groups of researchers have proposed that India should permanently advance Indian Standard Time (IST) by 30 minutes to correspond to +600 hrs GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) rather than the existing +530hrs GMT. It has been estimated that this 30-minute advancement of the clock would give an extra half hour of daylight in the evenings and result in an estimated 16% savings in peak load power consumption. Other benefits that could accrue are a reduction in accidents due to better visibility while returning home from office, reduction in petty street crimes like purse and chain

Tracing the background of IST z The history of IST dates back to 200 years when the first official astronomer of the East India Company, John Goldingham established the longitude of Madras and the Standard Time for India was set by the Madras Observatory’s Standard Clock. IST was adopted for snatchings and “mainstreaming of the northeast” where the offices would function in more or less the same time span as the rest of the country. In September 2011, Professors D.P. Sen Gupta and

Life 365 is more than just a daily that packages `life’ in its 16 pages. It is a platform to understand your city better in terms of the good work silently being done by hundreds of good samaritans. Their stories of

D.R. Ahuja of the National Institute Of Advanced Science (NIAS) in the Indian Institute of Science campus, Bangalore, submitted a report to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (Ministry of Power), on "Options

how they lend an extending hand could propel you to contribute your bit to the society. In this progressive city of Pune, the desire to the serve the society is very strong, as we learnt from interaction with citizens.

the entire country after independence and the Central Observatory was moved to Mirzapur, UP for its favourable longitude and IST was set at +530hrs GMT. India too had adopted DST briefly during the 1962 war with China and during the 1965 and ‘71 wars against Pakistan. for Adjusting Indian Standard Time for Saving Energy". They established that advancing IST by half an hour offers larger energy savings compared to other options like Daylight Saving Scheme and dividing

Do you know of a person, a group of persons, an institute, an initiative or an activity that would inspire people or promote the larger social good? Are you one of them? Life 365 offers itself as your

the country into two time zones. Their report estimated a saving of 2.3 billion units of power if IST was advanced by 30 minutes. "The proposed half an hour advancement leads to an annual energy saving of about 2.3 billion units which may be only 0.3 % of India's total electricity consumption, but is a significant 15% saving in the evening peaking energy,” Sengupta said. According to him, their presentations to senior bureaucrats of an interministerial group in Delhi had met with a favourable response and it was now for the appropriate authorities to take this initiative forward. >> Continued on Page 5

trusted platform to share it with others. Contact us at: or Life 365, Aaj Ka Anand building, Shivajinagar, Pune 411005.

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