Author Archives: shahishaharyar

About shahishaharyar

Chartered civil engineer,Fellow institution of engineers India, Member Indian road congress,Member American society of civil engineers, Presented over 40 papers in various seminars,published books on environment,history,genealogy.

Islamic Productions Srinagar Kashmir (established 1983 AD/1404 AH)


The Institution of Islamic Productions Srinagar Kashmir was set up in 1983 in by Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili B.E.(Hons) , CEng(I),FIE, MIRC, MASCE R/O Srinagar, when it was found that the rays of modernization have penetrated so deep in the society that even the authenticity of Divine guidance is being challenged by our educated elite. A booklet describing the uninterrupted continuation of miracles of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)- an Urdu translation of a speech made by Dr.Rashad Khalifa, published in Lahore by Dr. Ahmad Rafiq in 1976 was republished as an answer to these elements and distributed free of cost. It started a chain of other publications to illuminate the general public on other topics, with the light of guidance transferred to us through Prophet (SAW) and his Sahabis (AS)and Awliya-Allah (QS) to this date. The mission should continue onwards for the guidance of future generations. Alhamdulillah we have been able to publish following  books, booklets,papers, most of which were distributed among people:

01) Mujaza Muhammadi ks Lafani Tasalsul (Urdu) 02) Bismilla-hir-Rahman ki Tafsir (Urdu) 03) Fazilat ki Raten (Urdu) 04) Hurmat ke Mihiney (Urdu) 05) Kashmit ke Chand Buzarg Alim wa Sufi (Urdu) 06) Janobi Hind mein Islam ki Ibtida (Urdu) 07) Baba Bam-ud-Din (Urdu) 08) Mujaza Quran (Urdu) 09) Let the World know (English) 10) The Truth (English) 11) Srinagar -the Suncity 12) Mumin Kamil ke Awsaf (Urdu) 13) Hamarey Aslaf aur Mashaikh-i-Kashmir -3 volumes )Urdu) 14) Margub-ul-Qaloob (Urdu) 15) Khwaja Habibullah Attar- mukhtasar sawanih (Urdu) 16) Fragrant Flowers (English) 17) The Pearls of Deep Sea (English) 18) Glimpses of Paradise (English) 19) Our Concern (English) published in USA 20) My Life Story  (English)-published in USA [ items 16,17,18 published by and available with] 21) My Reflections (English) 22) Awrad-i-Fathia (English) 23) Kibryat-i-Ahmer (English) 24) Dalail-ul-Khairat (English) 25) Qasida Burdah (English) 26) Hizb-ul-Bahar (English) 27) The Unchallenged Truth (English) { items 19,20,21,22,23,24,25,,26,27 published by and available with and} 28) Environment in Jammu and Kashmir (English)-{item 28 published by and available at Gulshan Books Residency road Srinagar}.The books under process are: Tazkira Salikin-i-Kashmir (Urdu), Salikin-i-Kashmir (English), Jhelum Valley Civilization. All these books nave been authored by Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili (Retd. Chief Engineer J&K State PWD)



My recent Publications by (These can be ordered on line and delivery shall be made even from India in Indian Currency)

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The Unchallenged Truth


Rashad Khalifa (Author)

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Er.Mohammad Ashraf Fazili (Author)

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Sharf-ud-Din Abu Abdullah Mohammad-din Sayeed Hammad Albusir…

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Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibni Sulaiman ibni Abu Bakr Aljazuli A…

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Hazrat Allama Jafar bin hasan Al-Barzanji (Author)

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HIZB-UL-BAHAR (Litany of Sea)

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My Life Story


Mohammad Fazili (Author)

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The Unchallenged Truth

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Rashad Khalifa (Author)

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Our Concern


Mohammad Fazili (Author)

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Celebrate good times


We thank Almighty for planning and executing the event. Then we give alms to the poor. Also we invite the near and dear ones on a non-vegetarian bite on a single occasion to save time and labor as otherwise the well wishers shall be visiting us for days together for conveying their greetings, for which they need to be entertained, which is quite straining now-a-days.

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Stench in Srinagar City


Stench in Srinagar City

Fazili describes how the paradise is facing duel stench emanating from Achan Saidpora Solid Waste Dumping Site on one side, and from untreated water of Brari Numbal mini lake on the other. The stink is in the heart of the city


Way back in 1981, the J&K Government entrusted to UEED, the task of formulation of the feasibility report with the objective of developing the baseline information and parameters for formulating and designing a well conceived cost-effective scheme for hygienic collection, transportation and disposal of solid wastes of Greater Srinagar city. While the second phase of the work under this project would involve the exercise for establishment of the appropriate scheme and its engineering aspects. Having retained M/S Universal Enviroscience as consultants, a report was formulated, which identified and delineated the areas and essential components which were of relevance to the second phase of the work and also provided a conceptual system of the solid waste management programme for Greater Srinagar city.

The subjects covered were:

(I) Review of growth pattern of Srinagar Town based on population, sectoral activities, geo-climatic and other conditions and land based use pattern.

(II) Identification and assessment of sources, nature and quantum of solid wastes in Srinagar town based on sources, nature- physical and chemical characteristics, classification of solid wastes-assessment of recoverable materials and of fuel and fertilizer production and quantum.

(III) Inventory and assessment of existing solid waste collection (including house boats and dunga boats), transportation and disposal facilities and manpower and workshop facilities.

(IV) Conceptual system of solid waste collection, transportation and hygienic disposal and location of additional sites in Srinagar.

(V) Identification of the areas for further investigations and survey.

(VI) Guidelines for improvement/modifications of available data/reports.

(VII) Recommendations on financial aspects and time bound programme of the project.

The physical and chemical characteristics of the solid waste samples revealed that the wastes are most amenable to composting. Besides other recommendations for improving the door to door collection system, transportation, sanitary landfill for a few years, installation of mechanical compost plants at Noorbagh and at the landfill site within a period of five years was recommended to Srinagar Municipality. The recommendations were partly implemented by the SMC, but the main recommendation for installation of mechanical compost plant (MCP) was shelved for reasons best known to the authorities.

The issue of preparation of a detailed project report on Solid waste Disposal of Srinagar city was again taken up by Srinagar Municipality in 2000 AD, but its results were not known.

The problem of stench in Srinagar city, would have been, eliminated if the proposed “Mechanical compost plants” would have been installed in time, which would have also minimized the land area required for sanitary landfill, besides generating organic compost to be made available to the farmers to enrich their soil. This way the harmful effects of chemical compost would also have been obviated.

I was specially deputed by UEED to New Delhi to inspect the mechanical compost plant of NDMC in eighties. I also attended an interstate meeting in Housing Department in New Delhi, who took review of the already functioning compost plants of different cities. I understood that our state had made no efforts to obtain Central assistance for establishing the mechanical compost plant. Later I was tipped for visiting Japan for observing their system of disposal of solid and liquid wastes, but it did not mature as my sanction order became victim of red tape in the secretariat offices.

As observed by me at NDMC the process of conversion of compost takes just three weeks by dumping the wastes directly from trucks on a platform, sprinkling water and turning the wastes mechanically for 21 days during which period considerable heat gets generated in the wastes and decomposition takes place. Thereafter the wastes are placed on conveyer belts and hand picking is done for any hard materials like stones, metals, glasses, plastics, polythene etc. by the persons who remain on either side of the slow moving belt. For smaller elements screening is also recommended. The decomposed waste ultimately goes to the pulverizer, for grinding it in to a powder, which is packed in bags to be sold to farmers. There is no problem of stench during this operation as has been observed in various metropolitan cities including the capital city of Delhi.

Everyday there is a protest lodged in the media by the inhabitants of the surrounding areas, even Imam of Jamia Mosque Srinagar has condemned from pulpit on Friday prayers, the apathy of the authorities for not being able to tackle the problem of stench emanating from Achan dumping site for the last three decades. Similarly the Brari-numbal mini lake in the heart of city has turned to be a cess-pool adding to the already existing foul smell from Achan site. The STP constructed at huge cost is non functional and filth from four lakh citizens pours in to the mini lake round the clock.

In view of the growing menace of stench spreading in to the interior of the city of Srinagar, it is high time that Govt. wakes up to the situation and takes up the construction of the compost plants as recommended by the experts of international repute.

According to Master Plan of Srinagar Metropolitan area 2000-2021, for a population of 12 lakhs in 2000 AD and estimated 23.50 lakhs in 2021 AD, Solid Waste including fruit and vegetable wastes works out to 538 tons and 1356 tons / day respectively. Out of 538 tons of solid waste 300 tons were handled by the Municipality in 2000 AD and the remaining 236 tons waste was partly dumped in water bodies, partly in ditches and partly salvaged in the form of Kabadi materials at domestic levels. As for the disposal of waste materials, SMC managed to collect the garbage from 308 collection points in 2000 AD (presently 575 points in 2013) within the municipal limits. These collection points are interspersed all over the city on roads in open form. However recently in certain selected areas, plastic dustbins have been provided by the SMC and door to door collection is made against a monthly charge of Rs. 50/- per house hold. This has reduced the open spread of solid waste attracting street dogs, besides spreading local obnoxious smell in these particular areas.

According to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, it has at present only one Dumping Site at SyedporaAchan which comprises of 540 Kanals of land. Where the waste is being spread over and is further being covered with clay and use of disinfects are also being made. The existing Dumping site is being improved and modernized in a scientific Engineered Landfill site through the financial and technical guidance of Asian Development Bank. A detailed action plan/project report on this score has been prepared. In fact some of the works have been taken up for execution by the J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency against the money released by the Asian Development Bank. All the environmental and other related issues will be redressed under the modernization plan. The modernization of existing open dumping site into a scientific Sanitary Landfill site will be taken up for execution by the J&KERA in a couple of months against the estimated cost of Rs. 22.00 Crores that will take care of all the pollutants including that of air quality, ground water quality and aesthetic look and landscaping of the interior of Landfill site as per guidelines of J&K SPCB. Besides this there will be a permanent facility for regular monitoring of these components in future

As can be viewed from the future programme of SMC regarding disposal of solid wastes, the recommendation of the construction of Mechanical Compost Plant has been ignored for unknown reasons. It would be prudent if some officers were deputed to inspect the working of the mechanical compost plant of NDMC, whereby they would get a clear idea of its efficiency and its suitability for our conditions.



46th ENGINEERS DAY-September 15, 2013


The Oxford Dictionary defines Engineering as:

-the branch of science and technology, concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures.

-a field of study or activity concerned with modification or development in a particular area: software engineering

-the action of working artfully to bring something about.

The aim of engineer is to make use of the material economically getting maximum benefits within the prescribed limit of factors of safety as per BSI code of practice.

Frugal is defined as:

-sparing or economical with regard to money or food.

Thus the term frugality is already inscribed in the term “engineering” and ‘frugal engineering’ is to be super-economical within safe limits.

Frugal Engineering is the science of breaking up complex engineering processes into its basic components and then re-building each component in the most economical manner. The end result is a simpler, more robust and easier to handle final process. It also results in a much cheaper final product which does the same job qualitatively and quantitatively as a more expensive complexly engineered product.

It is generally believed that Indians and other South Asians are the most adept in frugal engineering, because resources and capital are scarce in this region. 

Many terms are used to refer to the concept. “Frugal engineering” which was coined by Carlos Ghosn, the joint chief of Renault and Nissan, who stated, “frugal engineering is achieving more with fewer resources.”

In India, the words “Gandhian” or “jugaad“, Hindi for a stop-gap solution, are sometimes used instead of “frugal”. Other terms with allied meanings include “inclusive innovation”, “catalytic innovation”, “reverse innovation“, and “BOP innovation”, etc.

At times this no frills approach can be a kind of disruptive innovation.


Spotlighted in a 2010 article in The Economist,] the roots of this concept may lie in the appropriate technology movement of the 1950s although profits may have been first wrung from underserved consumers in the 1980s when multinational companies like Unilever began selling single-use-sized toiletries in developing countries. Frugal innovation today isn’t solely the domain of large multinational corporations; however, as small, local firms have themselves chalked up a number of homegrown solutions. While General Electric may win plaudits for its US$800 EKG machines, cheap cell phones made by local, no-name companies and prosthetic legs fashioned from irrigation piping are also examples of frugal innovation.

The concept has gained popularity in the South Asian region, particularly in India. The US Department of Commerce has singled out this nation for its innovative achievements saying in 2012 that “there are many Indian firms that have learned to conduct R&D in highly resource-constrained environments and who have found ways to use locally appropriate technology.

Notable innovations

Frugal innovation is not limited to durable goods such as the GE US$800 EKG machine or the US$100 One Laptop per Child but also services such as 1-cent-per-minute phone calls, mobile banking, off-grid electricity, and microfinance.

ChotuKool fridge

A tiny refrigerator sold by Indian company Godrej, the ChotuKool may have more in common with computer cooling systems than other refrigerators; it eschews the traditional compressor for a computer fan. (It may exploit the thermoelectric effect.)

Jaipur leg

A low cost prosthetic developed in India, the Jaipur leg costs about $150 to manufacturer and includes some clever improvisations such as incorporating irrigation piping into the design to lower costs.

Mobile banking

Mobile banking solutions in Africa, like Safaricom‘s M-Pesa, allow people access to basic banking services from their mobile phones. Money transfers done through mobiles are also much cheaper than using a traditional method. While some services can be accessed on a mobile alone, deposits and withdrawals necessitate a trip to a local agent.

Nokia 1100

Designed for developing countries, the Nokia 1100 is basic, durable, and–besides a flashlight–has few features other than voice and text. Selling more than 200 million units only four years after its 2003 introduction,, has made it the best selling phone of all time.

Solar light bulb

In some Philippine slums, solar skylights made from one liter soda bottles filled with water and bleach provide light equivalent to that produced by a 55 watt bulb and may reduce electricity bills by US$10 per month.

Tata Nano

Designed to appeal to the many Indians who drive motorcycles, the Tata Nano was developed by Indian conglomerate Tata Group and is the cheapest car in the world.

 The Importance of Frugal Engineering

Frugal Engineering will be of great relevance to developing countries, as a flexible approach that perceives resource constraints as a growth opportunity. According to Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, at the current rate of consumption, by 2030 we would need two planets to supply the resources we need and to absorb our waste. As engineers, in the service of the humanity enabling the citizens to enjoy a better quality of life, we have an added responsibility these days to find engineering solutions – of course, frugal – to problems thrown up by all sectors endangering the environment.

Providing new goods and services to “bottom of the pyramid” customers requires a radical rethinking of product development.

A cell phone that makes phone calls — and does little else; a portable refrigerator the size of a small cooler; a car that sells for about US$2,200 (100,000 rupees). These are some of the results of “frugal engineering,” a powerful and ultimately essential approach to developing products and services in emerging markets.

To get a handle on what frugal engineering is, it helps to understand what it is not. Frugal engineering is not simply low-cost engineering. It is not a scheme to boost profit margins by squeezing the marrow out of suppliers’ bones. It is not simply the latest take on the decades-long focus on cost cutting.

Instead, frugal engineering is an overarching philosophy that enables a true “clean sheet” approach to product development. Cost discipline is an intrinsic part of the process, but rather than simply cutting existing costs, frugal engineering seeks to avoid needless costs in the first place. It recognizes that merely removing features from existing products to sell them cheaper in emerging markets is a losing game. That’s because emerging-market customers have unique needs that usually aren’t addressed by mature-market products, and because the cost base of developed world products, even when stripped down, remains too high to allow competitive prices and reasonable profits in the developing world.

Frugal engineering recalls an approach common in the early days of U.S. assembly-line manufacturing: Henry Ford’s Model T is a prime example. But as industries grew and matured over the decades, and as consumers prospered to levels few would have predicted a century ago, product development processes became hardwired and standard operating procedures worked against frugality.

In addition, the profit structure in mature markets reduced incentives for major change. Constant expansion of features available to consumers in the developed world, frivolous or not, has provided many businesses with their richest profit margins. Mature-market customers continue to accept price premiums for new features, leading companies to over-engineer their product lines — at least from the point of view of emerging-market customers. The virtual extinction of manual car windows in the United States is just one example.

Frugal engineering, by contrast, addresses the billions of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid who are quickly moving out of poverty in China, India, Brazil, and other emerging nations. They are enjoying their first tastes of modern prosperity, and are shopping for the basics, not for fancy features. According to C.K. Prahalad, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Wharton School Publishing, 2005), these potential customers, “un served or underserved by the large organized private sector, including multinational firms,” total 4 to 5 billion of the 6.7 billion people on Earth.  Although the purchasing power of any of these new consumers as an individual is only a fraction of a consumer’s purchasing power in mature markets, in aggregate they represent a market nearly as large as that of the developed world.

Attracted by the size and rapid growth of emerging markets — concurrent with a growth slowdown in the developed world — companies in a range of industries are establishing distribution and manufacturing operations as well as research and development centers in these regions. However, some of these companies may not fully grasp the challenges that competition in emerging markets entails. The prospect of high-volume profit streams may be enticing, but those profits must be earned in the face of lower prices, lower per-unit profits, and stringent cost targets.

In addition, too few companies realize how demanding emerging-market customers can be. They don’t spend easily, because they don’t have much to spend. They require a different set of product features and functions than their developed-world counterparts, but still insist on high quality. Global companies, therefore, must change the way they think about product design and engineering. Simply selling the cheapest products on hand or reusing technologies from higher-priced products will not cut costs enough and is unlikely to result in the kind of products these new customers will buy. The central tenet behind every frugal engineering decision is maximizing value to the customer while minimizing nonessential costs. As already stated the term frugal engineering was coined in 2006 by Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn to describe the competency of Indian engineers in developing products like Tata Motors’ Nano, the pint-sized, low-cost automobile. Companies such as Suzuki paved the way for the development of low-cost automobiles, but there may be no better example of frugal engineering than the Nano, which will allow millions of people with modest means to reliably drive their own car. The Nano is not — like so many other low-cost vehicles — a stripped-down version of a traditional, more expensive car design. Like other newly engineered products selling well in emerging markets, ranging from refrigerators to laptop computers to X-ray machines, it is based on a bottom-up approach to product development.

Even global companies uninterested in the growth offered by the world’s lowest-income consumers will have to pay attention to the lessons of frugal engineering: Products developed with this approach are beginning to compete with goods sold in developed countries, a trend that’s likely to continue. Deere & Company, for example, designed and sold small, lower-powered tractors in the Indian market, but didn’t begin selling such models in the U.S. until an Indian company, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., beat them to it. Mahindra & Mahindra has proven an able competitor to Deere in larger tractors as well. General Electric (GE), on the other hand, has been more proactive; for example, it has sold a revolutionary new low-cost handheld ultrasound scanner in developed markets by incorporating frugal engineering lessons learned in its Indian medical research and development lab. A low-cost GE electrocardiogram machine, developed at the same Indian lab for the local markets, is now being sold in the United States and Europe as well.

Meeting all these challenges will require a change in corporate culture. Some companies will be up to it; other companies will not. A successful approach to frugal engineering involves new ways of thinking about customers, innovation, and organization.

Understanding the Customer

The ultimate goal of frugal engineering couldn’t be more basic: to provide the essential functions people need — a way to wash clothes, keep food cold, get to work — at a price they can afford. Critical attention to low cost is always accompanied by a commitment to maximizing customer value. The Tata Nano development team’s decision not to include a radio on the standard model wasn’t a simple move to avoid cost. The team understood that the typical Nano customer places far more value on extra storage space. Using what normally would be the radio slot for storage not only avoided a major cost, but also added value for the customer.

Such carefully calculated trade-offs, made at the product planning stage, serve the dual purpose of maintaining low costs and increasing the product’s overall functionality and utility for the buyer. Assessment of those trade-offs requires close, careful observation on the part of planners if they are to arrive at a deep understanding of the ways a product fits (or doesn’t fit) into customers’ lives.

Again the Nokia 1100 cell phone is another example. Experience has shown that when low-income people in just about any country begin to enjoy a bit of economic prosperity, one of their first purchases is a cell phone. Many new cell phone customers in emerging markets are agricultural workers who spend their days outdoors. When Nokia developers watched field-workers using mobile phones in India, they noticed that the intense humidity made the phones slick and hard to hold or dial. So the phone was built with a nonslip silicon coating on its keypad and sides. The handset was also designed to resist damage from dust that is common in arid climates and some factory environments. The phones are otherwise basic: They can send and receive phone calls and text messages. The screens are monochrome. Because the phones lack fancy software, the power draw is smaller, so they can operate longer between charges. The only real extra is a tiny, energy-efficient flashlight that’s proven popular in areas where power blackouts are common — in other words, in most rural villages and many emerging-market cities. At a price of $15 to $20, the Nokia 1100 is the best-selling cell phone ever.

More than a year after coining the term “frugal engineering” to describe Indian engineers, Carlos Ghosn, the joint chief of Renault and Nissan, is still not frugal with his praise for Indian techies.

And his love affair with the country, which isn’t exactly globally acclaimed for engineering skills, continues.

Flying in to Chennai, which is fast becoming an auto hub, Ghosn once again recently lavished compliments on engineers.

“Frugal engineering is achieving more with fewer resources. The cost of developing a product in the West is high since engineers there use more expensive tools. In India, they achieve a lot more with fewer resources,” Ghosn said.

Between Nissan and Renault, there are now three joint venture companies with Indian partners for different products. Renault and utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra have a JV to manufacture Logan cars in India.

Renault, Nissan and M&M also have a three-way JV to manufacture cars for the respective principals. Now, Nissan has a JV with Ashok Leyland for the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment

. “We see a lot of opportunities for LCVs in India but we would not have come alone. We were looking for a partner. India is a sophisticated market that requires sophisticated products and we would have wasted a lot of resources had we tried to come alone,”

Ghosn told media persons here.

There could be more JVs from the group in the future.

Nissan, Renault and Bajaj Auto are in talks to develop and manufacture “ultra low-cost” passenger cars in India.

“We will enter into as many JVs as required,” said Ghosn, who flew out to Pune recently to hold interactions with Bajaj Auto officials for the low-cost car.

Ghosn operates out of two continents -Paris in Europe and Tokyo in Asia -and looking at the number of visits he would be making on account of the multiple business interest his group has here, Dheeraj Hinduja, co-chairman, Ashok Leyland, in a lighter note, said that he has a third headquarter in India.

India will be a centre of frugal engineering

RA Mashelkar, former director-general at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and national Research professor, has thought long and hard about Gandhian engineering— his version of frugal engineering, the term coined by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. Malshelkar, for his part, became aware of the true extent of the practice in India only when he instituted an award on inclusive innovation in memory of his mother. There were more than a hundred entries for the award that was given on December 17. The two joint winners had developed two low-cost solutions for rural India: a portable device to detect five eye diseases and a diaper that costs one-tenth its current price.

Nature is the best teacher of frugal engineering:

Every creation animate or inanimate is designed by nature with exact specifications, taking an example of atom, its number of electrons, protons, neutrons that determine the individual characteristics of every material. There was once a description of analysis of human body in TOI about half a century back. It quantified the calcium, potassium, magnesium etc contained in the human body, which was priced at Rs. 3.50 only. By this meager amount nature had created an automatic machine that could produce many more of its prototypes. In the end it had concluded that we are simply wonderful. So is the case with other creations right from infinitely vast universe studded with gigantic galaxy of stars, milky ways and black holes, our solar system, our planet earth and all the environment and elements suitable for the sustenance of life on it, to the creation of animals, plants, insects and microbes (not seen by naked eyes).

J&K Scenario

Many innovations have been recently made by the young entrepreneurs in J&K State, but it seems that they lack the support deserved by them to push their innovations ahead into manufacturing stage. The recent one is a joint venture of a professor and a student (as shown in a TV show- Good Morning J&K) invention of a turbine that can generate electricity just on running water without any water-fall, which has a tremendous potential in solving the power crisis of the State. Kashmir University is reportedly helping such innovators to promote their projects.

Similarly a young engineering student of Kashmir, Arif Moosvi developed web designing framework Hotsky, used for developing website, This is India’s first web designing framework. Earlier Asif Ahmad- a Kshmiri boy developed an android application- Droid Explorer which was hosted by Google Play. The application has witnessed 5000 downloads worldwide. Recently a 19 year old boy developed an android game based on basic principles of physics. Earlier a 23 year old software engineer developed an android application- “Dial Kashmir” that contains over 500 contacts of Govt. and private departments. Another young engineer developed an online platform where people can share and get any information regarding Kashmir.

Otherwise too, the Kashmiris have been practicing frugal engineering earlier than the advent of machines. With limited available resources, they had devised their own cheap devices like Wagu- a grass mat, Pulhur- a grass slipper, khraw- a wooden slipper, Tathul- a wooden tub, a watermill- (grath) for grinding maize, wheat and spices which has been in use for centuries together. The “Yinder” to spin Pashmina wool was a common domestic tool with its accessories. The “Kanz”and “Muhul” was used to pound rice, thereby by providing an exercise to our woman-folk. Similarly the copper teapot “samawar”-that keeps our tea hot, while we sip it. Then “kangri”/ “mannan” –the firepot that kept us warm in severe winters. So were our ‘hamams’ that made us face cool temperatures. Our mud hearths “dhan” had a water container called “matti” attached to it, whereby water would get heated along with the cooking of meals and the residual charcoal would be used in “kangris”. Similarly the popular dress of “Pheran”, “Tilla work” had its own charm and utility. Again the “jajir / hooka” used for smoking tobacco was also an indigenous innovation. The recipes of the balms prepared by the barbers for treatment of boils, wounds etc. are lost with their deaths. “Wazwan” too has its own identity and charm. Kashur Kagaz- the kashmiri paper was washable. In construction works dajji-diwari, panjra-kari, pachar bandi, khutum bandi etc. was indigenous innovation. Koshur put- the home spun Kashmiri pattoo, Kashmiri shawl with embroidery, Kani shawl, Pashmina, Shah-tush, Kashmiri silk were all local made. Woollen Namdhas and Ghabbas, Paper machie, silver work, copper work, wood carving, fur making, wooden boats, dungas, house boats, even tongas pulled by horses have their own individuality. Like that there are many more innovations which have been invented due to the necessity of the times and availability of the limited and scarce resources; confirming the saying that: “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

Thus a Kashmiri is born with an innovative brain, given the chance and encouragement; he can be a great contributor to the “frugal engineering” even in modern times.

Kashmir has produced many fertile brains in the form of saints, historians, scholars, poets, artists, painters, kings, politicians of international reputation, which include Saga Nila, Kalhana, Abhinavgupta, Nagarjuna, Lalitadattya, Lala Arifa, Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi, Habba Khatun, Mulla Mohsin Fani, Mulla Tahir Gani Ashai, Akhund Mulla Kamal, Molvi Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Zain-ul-Abideen (Budshah) etc., Even the forefathers of Jawaharlal Nehru hailed from Kashmir.

Here I quote Dr. Iqbal (d. 1938) – the great philosopher poet who too was of Kashmiri origin:

  “Jis khak ke zameer mein ho aatash-i-chinar; mumkin nahin ki sard ho who khak-i-arjamand”

i.e. The dust instinct with the fire of Chinar—That fiery dust will never turn cold.

Again the son of the soil Nunda Reshi (RA)(d. 1439 AD) said:

I broke my sword and made it into a sickle.