‘The Ventilator Project’ book released at IIT Kanpur by Former ISRO Chairperson, Dr K Radhakrishnan

Photo Credit: IITKanpur

Photo Credit: IITKanpur

Kanpur: ‘The Ventilator Project’, a story of how a world-class ventilator was designed and built at IIT-Kanpur was released at a function headed by Chairman, Board of Governors IIT-Kanpur and Former ISRO Chairman, Dr K Radhakrishnan.

Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ congratulated the IIT-Kanpur team the authors on their documentation of the incredible story of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The book is a gripping testament to the sheer will and collaborative efforts of two brilliant Indians who came together to build a world-class ventilator in just 90 days when the COVID pandemic struck India.

The duo, Nikhil Kurele and Harshit Rathore had founded Nocca Robotics, an IIT Kanpur incubated company to manufacture autonomous waterless solar panel cleaning robots. When the pandemic struck and patients began dying due to shortage of ventilators, they decided to act and in just three months designed, developed and manufactured a scalable world-class ventilator.

Nikhil Kurele (Extreme Left), Harshit Rathore (Extreme Right In Red Tshirt), Tushar Agarwal (In Blue Tshirt) along with other team members

Nikhil and Harshit had never seen a ventilator, let alone built one. But they did not let this stop them. With restricted movement due to the lockdown, access to healthcare infrastructure was also limited. The global economy was crippling under the burden of the pandemic. The clock was ticking and hundreds of lives were at stake. Despite the odds, the duo met over daily Zoom calls and exchanged WhatsApp texts to overcome the lockdown restrictions and work on the ventilator. Their story is now captured in the thrilling pages of the book ‘The Ventilator Project – How the IIT-Kanpur Consortium Built a World-Class Product during India’s Covid-19 Lockdown’ by authors Srikant Sastri and Amitabha Bandyopadhyay.

Applauding this unseen case study of an Atmanirbhar Bharat, Dr Koppillil Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman Of ISRO said, “With regards to health security, 80% of medical equipment is imported in India. IIT-Kanpur successfully managed to develop a reliable, safe and a good quality indigenous product that helped save lives, equally trusted by both academicians and health practitioners. The Ventilator Project is not only a case-study for entrepreneurs or the start-up eco-system of India but also for our premier educational institutions and the critical role they will have to play in the atmanirbhar movement whilst strengthening our economy.”

Former ISRO Chairman and Chairman, Board Of Governors, IITKanpur, Dr K Radhakrishnan

The duo collaborated and called upon 20 industry veterans with unmatched experience from domains of academia, policy-making, medicine, and manufacturing. Driven by their extraordinary zeal and technical brilliance, the two young enterprising and innovative minds worked with these industry veterans to reach their goal of an India designed and developed and India built ventilator comparable to the best in the world.

Director, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Professor Abhay Karandikar who penned the foreword for the book, said, “It was a moment of pride for us when in the middle of a national lockdown, the two young innovators told us that they wanted to develop a complex equipment that is otherwise imported. We knew this was a project that deserved all possible support. We extended all our resources to collaborate and make sure that the ventilator project moved forward without a hitch. The success of the project is a demonstration of the dedication that we show at IIT Kanpur towards the nation that has given us so much. Our alumni, young and old, make us proud in all spheres of life. The Ventilator Project is one such example that puts IIT-Kanpur and India on the map of global innovation in both manufacturing and business.”

By EP Web Desk


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